So, as an update, I submitted a 6,000-word outline last Monday, and it took only three days or so to get feedback--feedback that a lot of what I'd done was really good, but that the second part (of four parts) needed reworking. I didn't yet have any clear ideas on how to address that part, but there was plenty of other sections for me to dig into. I actually started writing the article at the back of the AP, too, but only just found out yesterday that I was cleared to write that--good thing, as I'm already more than a thousand words into it!

Starting with an outline is, as is nearly always the case, a great idea. When I sit down to write in the evenings, I may not be immediately excited to pick up where I'd left off the night before, but there are so many directions I can tackle my outline from that I can quickly find something else that excites me (don't want to write about the assassin encounter? Write the investigation encounter instead! Feel like putting together some monster-bashing? Time to work on the dungeon section!). The sections available to work on will shrink, of course, the more I get done, but  right now I've got lots of hopping around I can still do, and that's very good for creative work.

It might be unusual for me to just dig into the middle bits and flesh those out, rather than start at the beginning (with the adventure background) but, like a movie, an adventure isn't created in the order it's read. It's more like building a bunch of bricks, setting them approximately where you think they'll go, and then going back over the whole thing once you've got a lot of bricks together to make sure they're slotted into place (plus, that's when you realize where your holes are, and whether you've got a brick that just doesn't support the structure around it). 

One other thing to admit: I still haven't read the entire AP I needed to read for background: we lost power in our bedroom a few days ago, and that's where I do most of my lengthy background reading. But I'll get there before too long--or I might find myself having to recreate a bunch of bricks!