Now that I'm at least halfway through my novel, it's time to really sit up and pay attention.
I mean, I know what the heck is going on in the novel, but there are a few things I have to make sure I don't forget about or lose in the shuffle. Those things I'm talking about are how characters react to each other, and making sure that the main characters are growing in the direction I want them to without me repeating myself. Or keeping the symbolism and foreshadowing consistent. I don't want to hint that something is going to happen and then never go back to it.
Of course, a lot of that ironing out will happen in the editing process and subsequent drafts. Still, the more of those things I pay attention to now, the easier that editing process becomes.
It's easier to lose track of some of that stuff than you think. There's a lot of darn words in there.
My outline is skeletal at best, but I have a pretty extensive file with character traits and their relationships to each other and all that business. It's a necessity, at least for me. There is so much going on in there now, I've got to have a crutch to lean on.
It's not cheating, because it's my book. That means it's my rules (at least for now anyway).