Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself. I think I said I found a good stopping place on Friday, and so I did. Finding the next good starting place is the next problem.
I've spent hours today staring at my screen, and for the last while I've been free-writing. I have two problems here. One is a lull in my outline, right where I need to kill a few weeks of virtual time, long enough for Taafa to figure out that she's now pregnant. Oh, I do have stuff happening in the outline, but it's too internal--discussion type stuff that they can deal with in no time flat. In fact, they've already dealt with some of it. The other problem is that the story is looking a bit short in length. I'm at 38K, and if I wrote straight from the outline just now, I'd be at 40K and half done the scenes. I am really trying to get this book in at closer to saleable length first go, and 80K is NOT it.
It's time to ratchet up the action. I've been examining motives and subplots looking for that special something that is going to help carry the story through these few weeks of virtual time.
I can let that little forest fire that got started *somehow* in the last chapter burn out of control, but I'm not sure if it would really forward the story. A good rainstorm would put it out pretty fast at this stage, and that may make more sense. And there was a huge rainstorm only yesterday, so it would be quite believable.
Or I could introduce a character that I've only alluded to early on in the story, and pull that scenario into a much greater subplot. (That would be a good way to go if Book Two continues to take root in my mind, as it would tie the books together.) Only, how to bring these characters together? They don't know each other, and at the moment both sides are suspicious of strangers (don't look at me that way; I'm just trying to get the story down...) Hey, wait a minute. The forest fire could drive them together. Hmm.
Outlines. Can't live with them, can't live without them. Sigh. Back to screen-staring now.
(In other news, calf #15 was born Friday (finally; it's been a full month since #14), we had a great weekend with the kids, and hubby actually took off two days in a row. He's paying for it now, though.)