I’m in that wonderful, exciting, refreshing but also terrifying space between novels at the moment. I finished a draft of my last, still-to-be-titled, one over the weekend, and sent it to my editor today. There will still be plenty of work to do on it no doubt, but for the moment it is out of my hands.
Meanwhile ideas for the next novel after that are filling my mind, so although I’d planned to have a bit of a break I have spent a lot of time today scribbling notes and putting together a Pinterest board to inspire me.
There are a number of things I do when planning a novel before I start actually writing it. I’ll do them in roughly this sequence:
- Scribble notes about key scenes, in a lovely new notebook of course!
- Decide on names, ages etc of main characters
- Draw up family trees for main characters, especially important if genealogy is to be a theme in the book
- Draw up timelines for the two timelines in the novel
- Build up a Pinterest board of inspiring images
- Note down main areas where I’ll need to research ahead of writing, and order any necessary books
- Create detailed character sheets for the main characters so that I can really get to know them
- Scribble details of the main settings, draw a map or house-plan if necessary
- Write a one-page synopsis for my editor to (hopefully!) approve
- Write a chapter plan – two or three sentences outlining what will happen in each chapter
So although ‘the Irish novel’ has been sent off ready for the next stage (rather like a five-year old child being sent off for his first day at school), the ‘drowned village’ novel is already swilling around my head. You know you need to write a novel when you find yourself waking in the night with scenes for it playing out in full colour in your head.
It’s funny – to my readers Daughters of Red Hill Hall is considered my latest novel, but I feel as though I’m two novels on from that!
That’s an excellent method you have, Kath – wish I could be as organised with planning novels as I think some of my plots would benefit! I still tend to write and see where it’s going but I’ll keep a note of your points and maybe try some of them at least once.
I’m reading Daughters of Red Hill Hall at the moment and really enjoying it – love the two sets of female characters and all the underling tensions.
Thank you! I read your Eagles book not too long ago. Very enjoyable.
I think with dual timeline a bit of planning is essential as the two stories need to weave around each other, so I can’t let them have complete free rein!
Keith Havers said:
Good luck, Kath. I have The Pearl Locket but I’m afraid I haven’t read it yet.
Shocking, Keith. I shan’t speak to you again until you have. Hmph.
Sue Blackburn said:
Really enjoyed your novels so far Kath so looking forward to your next offerings very much!
Thanks Sue! The next one is taking shape nicely in my head while I wait for editorial feedback.