This is a reworking of an earlier Blogspot post.
For the first couple of months, I worried that I wouldn’t have enough of a plot to win this year’s NaNo. Suddenly, that was gone. Characters started to evolve and develop real depth. One character who seemed destined to stand around on the sidelines will be taking on a more substantial role and will even be the catalyst for including a look at life imprisonment. I wanted to show the full range of the penal system, but couldn’t see any believable way to get into a high-security prison. The alternative seemed to be an info dump, which I hate to do. So it was a huge relief to figure out that a cast “extra” could be really useful.
To look at it superficially, it’s as if I’d been adding bits and pieces that didn’t add up to much of anything, and then suddenly they coalesced into a structure. I’m not sure it’s possible to see it happening, but the moment when I realized it had happened was very satisfying. All right, more than satisfying. I was happy and relieved. It was an important breakthrough because now I have the sense of creating something that’s growing organically, and that will be a pleasure for me to write and for readers to read.