Starting over …

DebE —  October 10, 2012 — 3 Comments

I have got to say, starting a whole new novel is scary stuff!

Structuring the telling

Structuring the telling (Photo credit: bgblogging)

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?




Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a nematophagus fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction. Mum of one human & four fur-babies.

3 responses to Starting over …


    Thanks for the mention! 🙂


    Thanks for the pingback to the article on Limebird. Good luck with your editing. 🙂

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