I have got to say, starting a whole new novel is scary stuff!
I’ve learned so much through writing Healer’s Touch that I’d love to think I can apply to this new book earlier on, with the intention of completing and publishing in a shorter time than I have HT. The good ol’ “Easier said than done” comes to mind right about now. When I think about story structure and outlining, I find myself a little bit paralysed. There is no doubt about it, I applied tried-and-true story structure theory I learned from Larry Brooks, and outlining techniques I learned from all over the show (seriously, too many references to even list any … if you search it, you’ll come across many influences I used), to complete HT. But, the simple fact remains, I started out pantsing it. I started with a couple or three characters and a vague idea of where I wanted them to end up. The story grew around them, and they within it. It wasn’t until I realised I had a story already approaching something others might like to read that I set about reining it in and shaping it into something following conventional story wisdom.
And finally, I have come to the decision that I am going to do much the same this time round. Things are different this time in that I have about ten scene snippets all ready to go somewhere when they may be appropriate, and I have a similar number of characters that I know pretty well, and when I create a new character, I do so with a firm reason in mind. So I feel I have a head start. But I’m still going to start off on gut-instinct.
Thing is, though, it is time to move on! And that is the main point. I have begun work with my editor on Healer’s Touch, and that is going well, so far (OK, so we’ve only done the first Chapter, but still …). It won’t be long before I start the marketing run up to release, and I’m sure I’ll be all HT‘d out by the time it comes out (to be honest, I already am a little bit), so it will be nice to be making progress on the next tale (in the same series, for those who might care).
For those of you on Twitter, I’ve started a #HealersTouch hashtag, and will endeavour to remember to use it each time I reference it, if you wish to follow. Might look at setting up #HT, instead, but it might get muddled with other things.
What do you do when you start a new project? Do you have a set routine? Are you still figuring it out? Do you outline? Do you develop full character fact-sheets? And if you’re working on a series, do you outline the whole lot? Or go book-by-book?
- Pantsing Revisions (limebirduk.wordpress.com)
- Story Structure… (thistledewblog.com)
- [Writing] Plotting’s hard work! (deberelene.wordpress.com)
- Onion Rings Revisited (justaddstory.wordpress.com)
- Structure: Plot’s BFF (spellboundscribes.wordpress.com)