To this point, the ship of The Order of the Phoenix has been rechristened to a title in my X-Division Assignment series. A new crew has signed on. Some of their jobs are plotted, some still have vestiges of the old crew’s assignments. A new course has been set, but we may still be sailing in the fog—the distracting elements of Harry Potter linger. And yet and all, An Author’s Inspiration accepts everything as if it were your intention, and it satisfies its purpose in integrating everything into a comprehensive outline.
Here is where strategy emerges. A lot of rough edges, as you find them in the outline, sets an agenda for future shifts of character, coloring of setting, or stressing the plot. Some of the distracting elements are inconsequential compared to the glaring clashes that pop out.
The inconsequential can be left unedited. This is because they may disappear entirely (either in the original or in their early edit) when a major clash is resolved. For me, it is better to resolve the major clash first. Even the minor psychological traits of my characters go unedited in the early transformation away from The Order of the Phoenix.
So, that leaves my attention on the glaring clashes. A clash can by a warning signal that escaped my attention while I was fantasizing how wonderful my story was. Equally, a clash can simply be the POV (point of view character) is wrong. One is a simple mechanical fix, like change the POV. The other can be a complex psychological solution, a tangle of knots to be untied through assigning the correct community to my character (the character’s follower, partner, nemesis, and so on).
A clash can arrive where in the first crisis I have put to much stress on my hero so that the climax seems tepid in comparison. This is typically a story.plot editing issue, but it may also reveal a poorly described character—or a very serious problem where both files are fighting each other. A similar clash can arrive in the form that my climax arrives halfway through my intended book length (it normally arrives much later) and leaves my characters depleted and lost in the vastness of celebrating victory too soon. This is an equally serious problem that will be laid out baldly in the outline.
These choices and changes relate to strategy where the writer can focus their tactical choices in the progression of beats that all add to a successful campaign at the end of the story.
This also brings me to my Aha! moments as they were inspired through my observations in developing my own works. Their description will follow.