As an aspiring writer one of the things I find fascinating is how people go about writing. Whether someone is published or unpublished there seem to be so many different ways to approach writing novels. There are those that plan out their novels in post it notes, and others who sit at the keys and wait to be inspired.
Now for me, I used to brainstorm a few ideas in the very pretty journal that I keep for book ideas. For each book or book idea I probably wrote about 3 pages of notes; a rough outline for a story and notes about the characters. Then there would be some sort of flow diagram mapping out the major plots for the novel. From that I sat down in front of the PC and hoped that words would come. And that’s how I wrote my first two novels.
At the moment I’m really pushed for time, and my writing time is getting squeezed down the priority list behind my impending wedding and the exercise to prevent bingo wings at said impending wedding. Which means that when I came up with an amazing idea for a novel I was desperate to start writing it. It was such a good idea I wanted to abandon my WIP and run with it. Only with less then 8 weeks to the wedding I was never going to get very far.
I decided instead to plan the novel. And not just one of my set me off in the right direction brainstorms, I was so desperate to get it all down quickly I did proper planning. I started at chapter 1 and I wrote about two or three paragraphs of ideas of what could happen in that chapter. And 40 chapters later, based on the assumption of 2,000 words per chapter that my 2-3 paragraphs would be transformed into, I had my whole 80,000 word book mapped out.
It's really weird as I know the book will probably change organically, but there is something quite nice about knowing where my story is going to go. I can already see the holes in the plots, and put bits in near the beginning to make latter parts of the book make sense. I’m already familiar with the characters and how they’re going to react to the story.
Now I haven’t actually written a single word of this book yet, so this method isn’t tried and tested. But I am really hoping that it does save me time in the long run. The reason I think I haven’t done it before is that I’m usually so desperate to start it that I rush into writing all guns blazing. Which means I have to finish writing the book before I forget where its going.
The big question is will it work? I’m intrigued to know how everyone else writes, was I being completely nuts for not doing this all along?