I'm taking a break from my own stories to do a little side work on a role-playing game. It's fun to play in someone else's universe. It's even more fun to get to shape someone else's universe, muahahaha. But seriously, it's a neat project, though the part I'm doing is rather small so far, but I'm hoping to weasel my way into working on more of the project once this bit is done.
I'm also trying to frame the Encore and NaNoWriMo projects, and this is proving harder than I'd hoped. I have plenty of ideas for Derrick and Nate, but I'm having a hard time figuring out the frame—the beginning and the end points of their larger narrative. The beginning is especially messing with me, because if I can get started I can usually find my way to the ending pretty well. I'm not used to having troubles with beginnings. Usually my problems are in the middle. I think I'll probably have to start where the short story leaves off, write from there, and then figure out what (if anything) I need to add in the beginning once I've gotten to the end. This will mean (groan!) extra editing.
The NaNoWriMo project is particularly difficult in that I still don't know what happens. Silly, no? But this is much more typical of my plotting issues. I have this great beginning, and some vague ideas of where I want things to end up (more like several options, Clue-style), but no real idea of what goes on in the middle. Sigh. I should just give up on the outlining thing and pants it, but I'm afraid to try pantsing during NaNoWriMo. That sounds like a great way to derail myself fast. My first time out I'd like to have a little more of a plan than what I have currently.
Well, I still have another month to figure that out. Hopefully my research will give me some extra ideas for the middle. In the meantime I'm having fun inventing alien cultures and playing with space opera horror.