Sunday, January 29, 2006

Planning the next novel and the week ahead

These past few days I’ve been working on a synopsis and road map for my next big novel, plotting it out thoroughly. I used to be what authors call a "pantser" — this means starting to write and building as you go — but as I’ve progressed I’ve become a “plotter” and more so with each project, long or short. I now need to know where I am going right from the start. I know that if I’m having a rough day and feel uninspired, the outline is there and I can go to it, see where I should be at and still press ahead.

This current project is the most developed synopsis I’ve ever done. On my website I give some tips for aspiring writers (well, it’s more like stuff I wish someone had told me ;-) and I talk a bit about writing the synopsis. The best time for me to write a synopsis is before I begin the novel. If I do it then, all my enthusiasm for the project is distilled into the synopsis. The synopsis is a sales device, so it has to be good. I’ve had much more success this way. If I wait until after the novel is underway or complete, I get weighted down with all the details I’ve put in during the writing. I talk about this and some other stuff on my tips page. Click HERE if you want to read more.

I’m nervous to place this, my second big novel, of course, but I love the story and characters. They’ve already made themselves felt in a big way and I’m hoping I get to tell their story. Next up are the first three chapters. Normally I could get this done in a week if I had no other interruptions. It’s going to take me a bit longer this time around, because we have a midweek break booked this week. We’re off to see legendary uber Goth band BAUHAUS play Manchester on Wednesday.

We’re making a break of it, staying overnight so we can go visit the City art gallery – one of my favourite collections of Victorian art and pre-Raphaelite brotherhood paintings, shown in authentic Victorian rooms.

And the cafe is to die for. :-) We’ll hit the bookshops, a restaurant and pubs later on, before meeting up with pals at the venue for the gig itself.

I’m going to try to get chapter one done before then. Wish me luck!


Sasha White said...

Yay! It's so awesome when you're excited about a story. Good Luck with the new one!

wendywoo said...

I used to think I was a plotter, but the older I get the more of a pantser I become.

I'm trying to do a detailed synopsis for my current novella and it's killing me! I know I should plan the thing, so I can fit everything into the wordcount, but I feel as if I spend any more time wrangling with the synopsis, I'll lose interest in writing the book!

I envy you that mini break... sounds totally fab! But I have complete confidence in you getting that chapter... or more... done first! :)