I’ve allowed myself to reach a conclusion: I need to tighten up the outline significantly, and when I write I need to stick to the outline with very little deviation. Because I spend 8+ hours at work most days, and because the nature of the work means that my brain is still full of work-related thoughts when I leave the office, my writing has been very disjointed. Patched together. Uneven.
I’m not generally a fan of outlines. They bind and chafe. Or at least they did when I had the time and mind-space to focus on a story and build it in a matter of weeks. Now I don’t have that luxury, so I will need to focus on the structure of the story as separate from the narrative. But I think this is necessary to keep my story clean and compact and my writing productive.