I’ve finished the current round of edits on Burning Darkness, and am waiting for feedback from my beta reader. I could, in theory, use this time to relax and be lazy, but that’s not how one makes loads of money, so it’s straight on to work on the next book! I’d worked up a loose outline for the third book in the Elena Ronen series a few weeks ago and was ready to start writing it, but then I realized that particular plot needs to be further back in the series. So it’s back to square one. And thus, I’m going to share my process every step of the way with you! This is the first novel I’ve written idea to publication with the plan to be organized about the whole process, so I’m doing this as much for myself so I’ll have a better idea of just how long it takes me to write an entire novel, and thus be better able to schedule my time.
A few years ago a colleague of mine wrote an outline guide to help people prepare for National Novel Writing Month. I beta read it, and in the process worked up the outline for Burning Darkness. I’ve used it again since then, and am using it to work up the outline for Deceived.
The first thing I did in planning Deceived was free-write a few pages in my notebook about what some plot points could be, and what the general idea of the story is. I spent about 45 minutes doing this Thursday night. Then Sunday night I reread what I’d written, and spent another 20 minutes or so doing a bit more free-writing.
After this hour of free-writing, I was ready to move on to a bit more structured planning. I answered the question, “What one thing most broke the world?” and came up with three ideas by which the world could be fixed. I admit I got a bit stumped at this part, but things can always be changed, added, deleted, and expanded upon during the writing process. This is just to give me a loose idea of where the story might go so I’m not fumbling in the dark.