I tried something different this time around. I got it in my head that I was going to outline my work-in-progress - a novella I was hoping would clock in around 40,000 words. This WIP is the longest piece I've attempted in a long time, and I wanted to approach it with a detailed outline, breaking down each chapter, plotting the hell out of the story before sitting down to write Word One.
It took me writing and then completely jettisoning Chapter One, and then just letting the prose take me where it would go without my trying to force it to show me that this technique just isn't going to work for me.
For a brief moment, I felt overwhelmed. I've got a 40,000-word piece and now I don't have a road map! I have three main characters I know fairly well, a working title, and a basic set up in mind, but now the story could go anywhere whether I want it to or not.
That moment of panic is gone. Now? I'm having a LOT of fun just spending time with these characters and enjoying what they're doing, saying, feeling, etc.
Do I think this piece will end up 40,000 words? I don't know. I know it will be longer than a short story, and not as long as a novel, so technically, it's still going to be a "novella," right?