Creating a book

person holding orange pen

The start of a book…

I thought I’d share some of the process for the next novel.

Cantash, being the fourth in the series, will be different to a stand-alone novel, or the first in a series. This book marks the middle of the series, and there’s a lot of continuation, as well as more foreshadowing to do for the end – all things that I take into consideration when planning and writing. It’s also a bit different for me, as I have the cover sorted for this one instead of waiting until it’s done.

At the start of the creation process, I do up a few checklists – word count markers, plot points to hit, and the timeline of the book.

Why and what is a word count marker? I am not a linear writer – I’ll work in chunks until the book is done, jumping from chapter 1 to 16 to 9 to 10, etc. Then I go back and fill scenes in. Early on, I tried chapter markers, and it was hard to keep on track when half of chapter 11 was marked off, but not anything else. So that’s the why, but the what is fairly basic – I draw up a grid and label it with how many thousand words I’m aiming for, and when I finish the next thousand, I scribble it out. I use this for the first draft only.

For the timeline, it’s a bit more detailed. It has when to contact beta readers, the editor, when to finish the book by, and when the different edits have to be done by, and when the editor takes over. It looks a bit like this:

The plot points are a bit different – and sorry, no spoilers with those.

Basically, I plan out four scenes per chapter, and cover any plot points, making note of continuation and foreshadowing. There’s also a great big list of ideas to hit so writers block doesn’t become a problem.

Now you’re in around the same place I am, and I can share the next bit of the process with you in next month’s blog.

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