The Plunge

A very accurate account of the pause before submission.


I began my novel, PROOF, ten years ago, give or take. Long having been a ‘pantser’ with an annoying tendency to leave my future self clues and puzzles to solve in the course of writing a novel,* I signed up to Lazette Gifford’s very first ‘2 Year Novel’ course on Forward Motion and set about properly planning a novel for the very first time.

It started out well. I planned the entire thing (except for some uncertainty about how the ending would pan out – nice, or cruel? Future Sam, your call), scene by scene, crafted solid character and story arcs, careful worldbuilding – everything I’d ever wanted before but been too lazy/impatient to organise in advance. I started writing. Boy, it was nice having that outline there, guiding me, letting me know what conflict needed to be in every scene, what character development I needed where, what details needed…

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