Planning ahead

Having spent some time lost in a bit of a whirl of confusion, I’ve finally imposed some order on my life.

It’s strange having always been such an ordered person at work it’s taken me this long to get to grips with my novel’s structure. I think, from the beginning, my novel was the place I could escape to, a place that could expand to accommodate my every whim – being fantasy there are less barriers than perhaps in other genres. After the first deluge of words had tumbled out of my mind and onto the page my focus switched to ensuring the writing itself was of good quality; it took many rewrites and culls for me to move closer to achieving this aim. Subsequent rewrites and even more culls have pulled together chapters and narrative themes, but to me they feel like something tacked together, rather than a flowing whole.

I have finally broken through my own strange resistance, (I call it strange because I’ve been aware of it and have observed it almost impassively for some time). I’ve striped my novel down into themes, chapter lists and character outlines and stuck them up on my wall. (Though looking at the picture I still feel a little hint of madness in the number of pieces of paper there!) I am probably still searching for a ‘way’ that works, but I’m hoping as I progress pages will be removed from the wall, as the problems with the novel are resolved.

I’d love to hear your strange, mad or sane methods for structuring your novel.

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8 thoughts on “Planning ahead

  1. Susan Abernethy says:

    Whatever works for you Plantageneta!

  2. Not much help, I’m afraid, since I don’t plan at all but trust to luck that it’s all going to come good in the end. I do, however, sometimes write chapters in the wrong order if I can see and hear a particular scene; then I go back and work up to it – even less organized.

  3. I’d kill for that much space to lay my work out in! Not a great planner personally, I tend to have the rough outline, characters and some scenes in my head before I start. Then its just go for it, and whatever appears on the screen is it.

    Though I am working more with plans on current WIP, first time ever.

    • plantageneta says:

      Ahh, it’s shared space – so I’m not the most popular person having marked my territory so blatantly!!! I have been carrying on same as you for some years, this is my desperate attempt to finally finish the old masterpiece. 😉 WHo knows if it will actually work….

  4. jakiedwards says:

    i make a mess of notes. I had one precious book (one with a strap to contain any escapees) but now I have two on the go… one at the table and one by the bed. I don’t refer to them all that much (once I write it down it sort of stays in my head bizarrely) but they make fabulous reading when I eventually get back to them. Sadly I’m a planner which does not make for exciting anecdotes 🙂

    • plantageneta says:

      I sometimes wish I was a more natural planner with my writing – I seem to be able to do it in every other area of life! You must have a big brain to hold all that in your head 🙂 Having said that I hold most of it in mine, but its the chapters I’m finding it tough to complete where I’m hoping this planning will really make a difference.

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