I've been sketching Chapter 3 for a couple of days now, and it's about time to start actually writing it. That's the hard part.
Charles, the novel-workshop leader, says he doesn't write outlines. I can't help but write outlines. For me, the outline is the actual creative work; actually writing the first draft is more a matter of just filling things in. Then there is the revising and polishing, which is where more real creative work comes in. I like the outlining and revising phases. I've always liked first-draft writing the least; it seems like so much busy work to write down what I already have in my head. And the draft never comes out as magical and golden as what I've imagined. But then I can revise and polish ... and it starts to shine again. Eventually.
That's been my experience, at least, whether I'm writing fiction or nonfiction.
I've already worked for an hour and a half this morning. The sketch of Chapter Three is two pages long, which means that I have a long chapter ahead of me. And I'm introducing three new characters, which means I'll probably need to do additional character sketches while I'm writing. Then, once the long chapter is written, I'll tighten it and it'll eventually be a much slimmer and fitter chapter.
For now, I need to slim down Chapter 2. I'm submitting it to my novel workshop tomorrow night, so I want it to be in decent shape.
I love writing. I really hope I can do this for a living someday.