Hi friends/ people of the internet/ space aliens,
So in the time I've spent not blogging, I've also been not writing. And in that not writing time I saw the giant problems with 12 o'clock. So it has been shelved for a while. I'm putting it down to experience.
I've come up with a new concept, using the same characters and the same world. But I'm basically writing a new novel and I thought it'd be nice to find out how other people plan their novels, and to share my method.
So I've typed "how to plan a novel" into google and I've read up on different methods. Some people don't plan, and just go with the flow (I tried doing that.) Others plan in detail (I've also tried doing that.) There's no right way to plan. (Although I've tried finding one.) Whatever works for you, works for you.
For me, I find that I can be most productive when actually writing the novel if I know roughly what should happen in each chapter. I don't plan in great detail, because that takes away the fun (I like ordered chaos. And cheese. Just throwing that out there.) My personal best has been 1800 words in an hour. Now, I know it's all about quality and whatever, but for a first draft I really just want to get something on the paper. I'm in more of a mindset that I can revise later (i.e procrastinating even as I'm doing something productive. It's a gift.)
Generally, I brainstorm ideas for what should happen in each chapter. Just random ideas. For example:
- Meet new character
- Fly into space
- Ride a motorcycle
I come up with a whole load these and try to put them into a logical sequence of events. If they don't fit, I throw them out. If they're not necessary, I throw them out (I throw a lot of things out. For example, I keep coming back to the idea of a person sitting in an office, typing away, which has nothing to do with anything, especially since I'm trying to write a MG fantasy.) So I'm left with a basic outline of my novel. Then I add in a few more details for each situation, which is now a new chapter. For example:
Fly into space :
- Board train
- Explore train e.t.c
I then have a rough idea of the sequence of events in my novel, and what should generally happen in each chapter. I try to have good moments and bad moments for the character, with the tension levels rising throughout, and rising most at the end (which is something I read on Nathan Bransford's site, and which really works.)
What about you guys? How do you plan a novel? Does the whole edge-of-your-seat way of writing work for you? Or are you a plan-ney freak? (I tried being a plan freak, because I thought it would be cool. Sadly, I got bored of planning halfway, because I just wanted to write, and ended up in the most enormous plot hole. I had to claw my way out, kicking and screaming, but it was fun :)