The deeper I get into the novel I’m working on, the more irrelevant my outline, and my earlier chapters, seem to become. I’m now closing in on the halfway point, and I’m in a chapter that I had no clue would need to be written when I began the book.
I am a big fan of rewriting, and I long to go back and set myself straight about how the beginning of the novel really needs to work. But that’s stupid–in another 20,000 words I might have a totally new set of changes to make. So I litter my text with bracketed editorial notes reminding me about what has to change in the next draft. Today I realized that I had neglected to give one of my characters a last name–it hadn’t seemed necessary way back when I introduced him, but his role in the novel keeps growing. So my note says: [Scott will have been given a last name when he is introduced.]
If I have my grammatical terms correct, the verb tense I am using in these notes is the future perfect. And that seems about right. Someday my novel will be perfect; just not yet.