RIGHT. Let’s try this one more time.
I’m committed to getting this novel down correctly before I venture too far and end up frustrated again. I know exactly what’s been wrong with the Apartment Complex story: not enough action. I do have future scenes with action in them, sure, but I’m just not nailing the landing at all yet. I’m screwing up on the pacing; it’s far too slow. I’m focusing too much on the mood and not enough on the plot. So instead of deleting it all and throwing the outtakes into the compost bin, I gave it a good long think-over during vacation.
Specifically, I thought about what I needed to do during the five-hour flights to Honolulu and back. And during the return flight, I pulled out my index cards and proceeded to do some heavy-duty additional outlining. I added at least six more scenes to the start of Act I (to be interspersed between the scenes I already have) that will help me get back to where I need to be. I realized this was the same outlining style I used for the trilogy, where I focused primarily on the handful of scenes I’d be working on in the immediate future. It worked then, so I see no reason why it wouldn’t work again now.
I’m usually never this stubborn about nailing the beginning, I’ll admit. But sometimes it’s gotta be done, especially if I already believe in the story as a whole. It might take me a few tries to get it right, but once I do, the rest of it should flow just as I want it.