A question for my fellow writers…

Hey folks. I am pleased to say that the formatting and cover art for my short story collection is coming on very well indeed. I expect to announce their release after Christmas!

A question for my fellow novelists. Do you plan your novel meticulously, hammering out endless notes, snatching images off the internet as inspiration, laying out index cards on big tables so that you can play with sequences of events … or do you just begin Chapter One and see where it takes you?

I am of the latter ilk of writer. I plan meticulously, making pages and pages of notes on Word, taking months to do so, and not writing the actual novel until I am happy. I plan right to the end, as I need to know where I’m heading. But I’m careful not to plan everything to the nth degree; if one does that, I feel, you leave no room for spontaneity. But this is simply what works for me.

Stream of consciousness? I have done it once, with short story, and it worked out fine. I began it with no notion of the ending. Just a concept. I wrote, and saw where it went. And I liked where it went. But a whole novel?

I am not decrying this method – far from it. I am interested to know what you like about the stream of consciousness method as well as the mega-planning method. It is not a question of what is best, but it what is best for you.

I am very interested to hear your thoughts on this one. Happy Holidays!

Image

Index cards used for pivotal scenes in my YA novel, The Ones. While most scene planning is done on the computer, sometimes I find it is best the have a plot beat on a single card that can be physically moved around, to see what works best, and in what order.