Monday, September 26, 2011

Eli Monpress Week!

The lovely Mel over at Mel's Random Reviews has declared this Eli Monpress Week! Eli, of course, would like to remind people that every week is Eli Monpress week, but he is none-the-less delighted to accept the honor. All week there will be reviews of my books and the audio versions as well as a big fat interview Mel and I did earlier in the month full of news about the new books and some really great questions about where Eli and the crew came from coming later in the week. I hope you'll head over and check it out!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How I Plot A Novel in 5 Steps

By popular request (ok, 1 person, but they're populace, so that makes it popular, right?) I've put together a step by step process for how I go from "Hey I should write a novel" to "Ok, let's get writing!" Though I managed to get things grouped into steps, what I've really done is labeled and applied order to the phases I go through as I work toward the point where I feel I know enough about a book to start writing. Some parts of my process may seem a bit obsessive, but the most important part of writing fast is knowing as much as you can about what you're writing before you write it, and that means lots and lots of planning.

Planning a novel takes me anywhere from a few days to weeks. Usually I plan while I'm working on other things, like editing, but I've also had whole weeks where I did nothing but put a story together. I should say that I plan far more novels than I actually end up writing. My computer is littered with the cast off husks of half started worlds. I consider this a normal part of the process. If you do it right, planning is where you uncover all the things that are wrong with that idea you thought was so amazing last week. Sometimes these faults are workable, other times it's better to just move on. Even so, it's way better to discover a novel isn't as strong as you thought at the planning stage instead of 3 chapters in. Not every idea deserves to be a novel.

Well, enough of that. You came to see how I plan novels. So, best as I can articulate something that changes for every book, here is my general process. I really hope everyone finds something useful they can take away to help organize and speed up their own writing system.