For three years, I've been mulling over how to fix that effort, and have written a bunch of new material to flesh out the revised version I have in my head. However, I've more or less come to the conclusion that my 2006 novel is so deeply flawed as to be not salvageable. If I want to do anything with any of that material, I will have to start that novel over.
I'd prefer that not be my fate this year. So, in 2009 I'm being more organized. This should help to facilitate the actual writing as well. I've set out the plot points in a set of 20 chapters, with descriptions of each. For example:
*Chapter 1*Each of these form a general basis for the plot, the characters and their interactions. I'm thinking that each chapter will have three scenes, more or less. Each chapter needs to be 2500 words to hit 50,000. That's only 850 words per scene. If I write two scenes per day, that's NaNoWriMo.
MacDonald in the trenches. He's convinced he's going to die any day, but secure that he's going to heaven, having done his duty. he's almost killed, but his gloomy army buddy catches the bullet instead.
In the hospital. Reads the letters from his buddy's sister, sorrowful, tearful letters wanting to set things right, to heal over their estrangement. She's going to take his death hard! He realizes that he has an obligation to go and be with the grieving sister.
His captain wants to be rid of the gloomy gus, he's a bad apple who's ruining morale in the entire company. Captain takes the head wound as a chance to be rid of him.
Goes to England, meets buddy's family. Realizes that they are rich, rich, rich. Sister is a lined, worn, grieving shade. he's moved by her devotion, by the lost chance of reconciliation. He wonders what it was that came between them.
After NaNoWriMo, if I set about revising scene by scene, I would flesh each of them out to 1400 words. This is about equivalent to a long-ish flash piece, so it's a decent length for a little set-piece. 1400 * 3 * 20 gives me a book of 84,000 words, the right neighborhood for publishing.
The snowflake method, phase drafting, accretion... these are all minor variations on an approach of planning to write.
Now, for the bad news. Based on new information, it looks like real life may intrude on my November even more than I had anticipated. I hope I'll be able to do this.