Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Thinking about Book Two

My ideas about my expected productivity for the rest of the Easter Holidays proved to be a little too optimistic.  While I did get on to Chapter 11 on the Friday, I ended up fighting with it for over a week.  But at last, it is done, along with Chapters 12-14, which were much more co-operative over the weekend.

So that's the first third done, though it feels like it's taken an age.  I still have a few little tweaks to do on the latter two-thirds but for the most part, this latest draft of Hide and See is done.  I should probably be getting those little tweaks done as soon as possible, but thoughts about book two just refuse to leave me alone.

There are lots of small scenes or conversations which keep popping into my head and while this is very exciting, I don't want to make the same mistake as I did when I first started Hide and See.  I just sort of charged ahead with it, not planning until I was well into the book.  This is probably why I've had to re-write the first third so extensively.  It felt so directionless because I didn't really know where I was going when I wrote it.

I've never been someone who plans a huge amount - the idea of wall-charts and massive timelines sounds appealing to me but I'd never have the patience to do it properly.  All I ever do it start off with an approximate flow-chart of the plot, then divide it up into chapters in a table.  This, of course, changes several times before I finish the first draft (usually due to my inability to stop waffling), but it does at least provide a loose framework to go with.

My new-book-resolution is therefore to plan from the beginning.  To get that vague plot in my head and down on paper before I sit down to write book two properly.  I'll keep jotting down those snippets of action and dialogue, but Chapter 1 can't start until I know where it's going.

That's what I'm telling myself anyway.


  1. I love the resolution to plot from the beginning, but I still can't do it. I'm rewriting eight chapters from the middle of the book - the saggy middle, we're calling it - and it occurs to me that I have virtually written this book, from scratch, three times. But it gets better each time, so that's what I've leanred, treat first drafts lightly because they can be just the starting point for the 'real' book.

    1. I think I have a problem with being too attached to my first drafts. I need to learn to let go!