Notes from the (noveling) front: The montage

So the writing's going. The countdown to NaNoWriMo is on -- ten days (depending on how you count) to go, and the big question is: Am I done with my outline? The answer is no, but come on! I still have a third of the month.

Anyway, the outline is coming along, but I find myself at the moment in the part of the outline inevitably referred to as "the montage."

You know, that part of the movie where the hero/ine has met the main characters and settled into the training/romance/whatever sequence, set to a bunch of music (before the big conflict blows up, which will inevitably lead to the dramatic climax). If it's Say Anything, then there's a bunch of kissing and some rain. If it's Mulan, there's a bunch of manly man-stuff and manly singing. (By Donny Osmond too! Who knew?) And if it's my book, it's the heroine learning a bunch of stuff at the castle, and I find myself not really being that enthusiastic about outlining it. Because it all reads like this:

...and then she met up with the awesome spy.
...and then she found the secret tapestry language.
...and then she discovered the god underneath the castle.
...and then blah blah blah.

Set to some creepy music, of course. It's the montage sequence. Which will be interesting when I get around to writing it, but while outlining, I'm fed up with the mounting tension. I want the BIG stuff to happen already! There are some really, really wrenching scenes in my head from the end of the book, and I am just itching to set it all out prettily on my yellow legal pads. (Yes, my outline is currently on yellow legal pads. I'm just that old school.)

Of course, the wrenching scenes won't be nearly as wrenching without the necessary foundation of the montage. Which is why every scene of your book is (and should be) important and necessary. Because every step should lead to the next, should lead to the next, should lead to the (ultimately astounding and powerful) climax and ending. The fact that I can't wait to get there is good, I think...? But it still means slogging through the montage. Wish me luck!