It must have seemed to clear when I wrote the outline, almost 18 months ago.

But today?

Some of it needs to be deleted and replaced.

I did — finally — have an epiphany about one part of my original thinking. Specifically, chapter 5 suddenly made sense to me. The original outline — while sketchy — is about Red Knight getting to split heads and rescue the Mage. A central theme.

Chapters 3 and 4 of the outline reflected weak story-telling and didn’t set up enough of a problem. At first, it seemed to be the right kind of mage problem. But. Then they weren’t right.

When I reviewed the sequence of “departure” phases from the Hero’s Journey, I could find the problem. Or. Really. The lack of a problem. It was all external. Nothing personal enough.

Time to pace around and work through some possible scenes.

Book I (and Book II) seemed easier. Perhaps because there was less context and more freedom to create problems. Now, the characters (and the story) have to honor some constraints created by the previous books.

Also, the outline was too broad in its scope: it involved earls and kingdoms. The book is about a knight and a mage. The kingdoms rising and falling are context and motivation, but not the stories themselves. This rework of the early chapters is part of stepping away from the too-big picture of how the king and the earls and the temples all cope with change. It’s a part of stepping into the shoes of people who are living through those changes.