The Best Thing actually began as an Elizabeth story in 2004. After Lila’s death, I started a story about Audrey’s funeral and how it would bring the Webbers and Hardys back to Port Charles. I wrote seven chapters (some of which were pretty good) but then a computer crash ate the story and I never got back to it. The Sonny/Carly/Jason baby plot was actually a subplot initially.
When it came to pick the next project in 2014 after completing A Few Words Too Many, I put up a poll and included this idea for fun. I started playing with a plot, bringing it back to that original vision with Audrey’s death. I was going to skip forward to May 2005 after her death with Jason and Liz already engaged, with her family providing conflict to go along with Sonny. But I ended up cutting the Webbers entirely, only keeping Steven.
When I started to write out the background to explain how Jason and Liz were going to get back together, I was also reading LeaB’s Worlds on Fire, one of my favorite ensemble stories ever. And I adored the slow build she gave them, working on their friendship first with everything falling apart around them. I was inspired to try something similar with The Best Thing, so I rewrote the outline and added the first 10 or so chapters where Jason and Elizabeth reconnect.
In this small series, I’m going to post my first outlines and then the changes as my beta Cora and I worked on the pacing and the rewrites. Act 3 ended up being rewritten entirely.
I’ve already written a little about my plotting on this and how I used the characters themselves to drive story forward, so if you’re interested in reading about that, check out my Fanfiction 101 series. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the next post!