As mentioned previously I’m working on my new book a little differently. Primarily, it involves doing a lot more planning, before and during. I’ve gone from a pantser to a plotter.
To recap what I’ve done so far, I basically plotted out my story in detail before I did any writing. This process took a couple of months but it’s produced a few benefits already.
Firstly, I was able to double my daily page count because I knew what I was writing before I sat down to work each day (most of the time, anyway). I completed the first draft in just under five months, a record for me.
The second benefit of doing extensive planning is that the document serves as a foundation for all the editing I need to do going forward, as well as being a central repository for all the character information, plot twists, etc. Much, much easier than trawling through the draft itself
Why have I not done this before? Well, I think the problem is I’ve spent so much time planning, time that could have been spent actually writing. The urge is always to write, to dive in at the deep end, and that needs to be resisted a little. Yeah, this book will probably take longer to complete, but I need to remind myself it will be much better for it.
And that’s why, with the first draft completed, I’m taking inspiration from Chuck Wendig and am returning to that plan to do more work on it, to make sure it reflects what the book is like now. I’m also doing a re-read and taking notes and observations of anything glaring as I go.
But I won’t be touching the book itself for a while after that. I’m going to leave it to stew, or as Wendig suggests, leave it until I’ve forgotten about it and can read it like a stranger would. In the past I’ve been unable to resist the urge to just jump right back, but this is just another thing I’m doing differently this time.