I usually consider having an outline to be a good thing. As I mentioned in the writing meme I did recently, it helps to give me an idea of where I'm going and is absolutely essential for long fics. Now, granted, To Ignite the Stars is my first long fic in quite some time, so I'm sort of out of practice at writing outlines. Specifically, I've forgotten how damned much they can change from one chapter to the next of actually writing the fic.
How did I spend my afternoon (besides cowering under my bed hiding from the thunderstorms sweeping over my region)? Rewriting my outline for To Ignite the Stars for, oh, the thousandth time. I had originally planned to have Anakin and Padmé marry as they do in canon, but there's about a 95% chance that won't happen now, for the following reasons:
1) Padmé and Obi-Wan's preexisting love for each other, which I hadn't bargained on when I wrote the current incarnation of my outline. Padmé just isn't showing that strong attraction to Anakin that she would need in order to justify marrying him. Instead, she's being pulled towards Obi-Wan, and who am I to argue with that? There's a certain point at which you stop trying to mold your characters and make them do what you want them to do, and just go with the flow instead.
2) Padmé's own ideals. Since she's being pulled towards Obi-Wan, and will likely end up having some kind of serious relationship with him as a result, I highly doubt she would enter into marriage with Anakin with the full knowledge that she would be unable to keep herself true to him. It's just not plausible, or true to Padmé's character for that matter. Marriage, and marriage vows, are serious covenants that you don't agree to just on a whim. Well, okay, the canonical Padmé kind of did, but my Padmé won't. She's a tad more principled, even under stress.
3) The fact that Padmé's parents made her break off her friendship with Obi-Wan because she had fallen in love with him. A lot of the strikes Ruwee and Jobal had against Obi-Wan would also apply to Anakin (mainly that he's a Jedi, the Code forbids them to love, Padmé still has a lot of years ahead of her in which she can decide to marry, there are many more supposedly "suitable" men on Naboo, etc.) and so if they're not condoning her loving Obi-Wan, they aren't likely to be too tickled about a match with Anakin either.
There are other factors, but those are the ones that spring immediately to my mind. Of course, this doesn't mean that Padmé and Anakin won't be involved with each other to some extent; they certainly will. Their love (or rather, the creepy stalkerish attachment Anakin has to Padmé, and the mother hen you-have-no-mom-so-I'll-take-care-of-you affection Padmé feels for Anakin) is still essential to my plot. Things will just unfold a bit differently than they would have if Anakin and Padmé married. And be all the more believable for it, I think.
No doubt this outline will be rewritten another dozen times before this fic is finally complete. And hell, I haven't even really finished the outline yet. I have a general idea of what's going to happen in the time between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, not to mention after that period, but nothing's written down yet. Meaning it could and probably WILL change from now until I actually write it.
And, as I remarked in my Author's Notes for Chapter 5, I am itching to write the scene between Obi-Wan and Padmé that takes place immediately after Geonosis. As in literally going crazy wanting to get it down. The past few nights I've lain in bed and the last thing I do before falling asleep is to picture that scene and how it will go, again and again and again. It's fun in that I can iron out all the details of who's going to do what and say what and all that, but the flipside is that I'm now desperate to get started on it but can't, because the methodical part of my brain would object. Sooo I ended up pouring some of that latent desire into a new scene for 50scenes, which I'll probably post tomorrow.
Now I get to go to bed, and re-imagine After Geonosis again ... and again ... and again ...