I recently dusted off an unfinished manuscript because I had visions of
Problem: The story was based on a vision. Not a dream, but an image I had just before sleep of a barefoot girl tiptoeing down a hallway, the light playing in her red hair. She was frightened and unable to turn away from some faceless terror. She crept forward and I was intrigued. So I wrote. Without motivation. I ended up with 10K words and a handful of characters that also lacked direction.
Solution: Outline. To those of you that know I'm a pantser thru and thru, you know how devastating this must've been for me. I also didn't just wake up with the outlining light bulb above my head. No way. Several good friends mentioned outlining to help me figure out where my characters were headed and why. I resisted. For weeks. But alas, I pounded one out and I'm amazed at the results.
Now, I'm adding to my ms with a purpose and a passion. It's only a page of bullet points, people. No fancy schmancy here. And although I don't expect to stick to the outline word for word, I've gotta say, the manuscript sparkles because of it! The striking difference it's made is fantastic! This story was once was a park stroller. Now, it's a marathon runner sprinting for a prize!
If ever you find your story lacking motivation, I suggest looking into an outline for a change of pace. Also yet another SO to my critty pals who made me do it. Tee hee. Thanks, gals...and guy.