Nov 022015
 

crest-05e1a637392425b4d5225780797e5a76The month of November usually gets writers in a bit of a tizzy as they have the chance to participate in the National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a novel (at least 80000 words) in one month, a challenge that requires a lot of concentration, spare time and fast typing skills.

I tried NaNoWriMo two years ago, but got nowhere as I’m a plotter, who can’t just sit down and start writing. I soon realised that planning my novel in that month of November as well as writing it, would be impossible, so I abandoned the project about a week in.
I decided that if I ever would do another NaNoWriMo, I would plan the novel in advance, something that is allowed according to NaNo ‘rules’.

This year I am participating in a NaNoWriMo of sorts. As of tomorrow, I am ready to start scene-blocking Book 1 of my series. A big step that I have been working towards for the last ten months.
I have never scene-blocked a book before, so I have no idea how long it will take. However I have set myself the task to finish it by the end of November, giving me my own personalised NaNoWriMo.

Scene-blocking is an exciting thing for me, as it is the start of writing my book. While scene-blocking I decide on the order in which events happen in my book. Every scene is described in short, without dialogue. In this way it is easy to move scenes around and change them, finding plot holes etc., without having to re-write the whole book.
This method of working allows me to go from large to small, adding more and more detail the smaller things get. And of course the smallest ‘size’ will be the complete finished book.

I’m looking forward to my NaNoWriMo, even though it will mean I have to get up earlier for a while to get the extra hours in. The result will hopefully be a complete planned out book that is ready for the next fase, the writing itself!

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Oct 062015
 

beta readersPeople keep asking me, ‘How’s your book doing?’. They then often can’t believe that although I have been ‘writing’ for about a year-and-a-half, I haven’t got one word on paper yet.
But things are starting to look up. I know that in another couple of months, I will finally be ready to start writing.

I was browsing through some of my old blog posts yesterday and read the one that I wrote at the beginning of this year. I was full of hope that by December, I would have two books published and another ready to hit the shelves in January.
This, as it turns out, is not what is going to happen.
Why not? Because I realised that to become a successful author in this day and age, I had to write super awesome books. This is certainly not beyond my capacity, but it takes more time to plan.

For instance. Cosy mysteries are usually character based. This means that there is more emphasis on the relationships between the characters, than the more technical details of how the murderer killed and how the police solved the crime.
The question cosy mystery authors ask themselves is ‘why?’, not ‘how?’.
I knew all this in January, but not long after writing my post, I realised that I hadn’t figured out the ‘why?’. More specifically, the ‘why?’ for the series. I could have shrugged my shoulders and pushed ahead regardless, but I wanted to write a super awesome series, so that meant no shortcuts.

In the past nine months, I didn’t only plan ‘a book’, I planned a whole series. My sleuth’s whole story-arc for the series to be precise. And not only his. Also that of his sidekick, his best mate, the Chief Inspector and the uber-villain. Five storylines woven together into one super awesome nine book story-arc!
I had to plan all this ahead, or otherwise I would have totally lost the plot halfway through the series. I simply know that I would have, as I am a plotter and not a pantser.

Each of the books in the series will have a separate murder to solve for the sleuth. Each book will be stand-alone in that respect, but there will be an ongoing storyline slowly unfolding. I hope my readers will find my stories interesting to read. In any case, I had great fun plotting them!

I am now ready to start plotting Book 1 in more detail. A lot of that is already in place, I just need to get it in the right order.
I know that once that is finished, I can start writing! Finally get some words on to paper. And the writing will go much faster than the plotting. I promise!

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