Navigating your way through a novel as you write it can be a tough course to plot. The seas can get rough out there on the white ocean of the blank page. There are all kinds of traps lurking to pull you down in the undertow or set you sailing for the wrong shores.
There are always several critical junctures in the first draft process where as an author you must choose a path. The way you go at that moment will then set your course for the next thick chunk of pages. No amount of outlining or pre-thought will prevent you from making the wrong choice every now and then. How will you know it's wrong? Because will lead you toward a dead end. The tricky part then becomes finding out where you made that wrong turn.
But then there are also those times when the road ahead is so clear, you start seeing several moves ahead. You're making connections with the material that you missed in the planning because there are some deeper things that you can only discover once you've gotten in and started mucking about.
I share this as someone who was in the first predicament last week, only to go back and find myself in the wonderful latter scenario this week. The writing process for a novel is quite a journey and it never ceases to fascinate me no matter how many times I go on the adventure.