I’ve begun writing the first draft of my newest novel, an as yet untitled epic fantasy. Assuming I finish this project, hopefully some time in late winter, this will mark my sixth book, not counting a couple of manuscripts I never finished. It will be my third epic fantasy novel – my other projects were horror, contemporary fantasy, and YA fantasy.
I spent a lot more time pre-writing for this project than any of the others, and I even put together a chapter-by-chapter outline, something I’ve never done before. For my first two books, I think I spent a combined total of about six hours planning before I started writing. I used to be completely in the gardener/discovery writer/panster camp, but over the years I’ve moved more and more toward the architect/outliner style of writing. This has been more of a conscious attempt at changing my ways rather than an organic shift, as I’ve tried to improve my craft. I don’t know if this transformation will actually make my writing better, but I think I needed to get to this point in order to be capable of handling what I think will be my most complex story yet.
One of the resources I’ve found useful during my pre-writing process is the Story Grid website by Shawn Coyne, editor at the independent publisher Black Irish Books. I’ve adapted some of his editorial tools for my own purposes, tweaking them to suit my own personal needs, and I think they’re going to provide a great deal of help for me as I write. I will probably talk about these a little bit in future posts, discussing how I’ve applied the lessons I learned from following Shawn’s blog.
In the meantime, I #amwriting.