Honestly, I should not be surprised that revising Doleful Creatures from an outline/chapter analysis is working, but it is. And I’m surprised.
I’ve never liked outlining. I liked the freedom of a blank page and just seeing where the story took me. After many iterations of that plan, however, I can see mostly where it's taken me is to a muddle. That's particularly true with Doleful Creatures, and probably true with everything else I've written if I'm honest and look at the manuscripts without squinting.
Outlining and analyzing the book's needs chapter by chapter is keeping me in control as I revise, it’s helping me fix holes in the plot – heck, it’s helping me plot things out. And it’s serving as a wonderful reminder as I go back and check myself on the goals I set for each chapter. It’s making thb ook better. I’m now 22 chapters in, and I’ve already regained some of the wordage I lost when I eviscerated the novel during the last two revisions. Better yet, word for word I’m getting – in my humble opinion – a better, more coherent, more meaningful story.
Time will tell if I’m actually succeeding – once I’m done, I want to have it beta read at least two more times by people I trust. But I do believe it’s getting better. I do have twenty chapters edited. Anyone want to start beta reading?