I can’t believe that it has come around so fast but here I am working on ideas for my big piece of work. I have decided on a novel. I won’t let on too much but let’s just say the main character is a serial killer.
I had two choices for writing this. Firstly to just write and see where it took me. Secondly to plan.
I sat down and looked at the amount of words needed. An average novel is about 100, 000 words which means if a chapter is about 5000 words I have to write twenty chapters. That’s like twenty short stories. Okay, that isn’t impossible and, as a short story writer, I find it much easier to cope with.
Except I have to link all these chapters together and they must have plots and subplots. I sat there and found myself swamped by the task. It is just so huge!
So I printed out a timeline. Essentially 20 boxes, about 3 to a page. Honestly, it is a huge piece of paper – I stuck all the boxes together so I ended up with a loo roll type affair. Then I started with the first. Where does my book open? And immediately went to the last – where is my book going to close? Then I filled in the gaps.
Three hours later I am sitting looking at my book – the initial plan. I didn’t stop there though. I then printed off a page per chapter with the general outline and the rest of the page blank for notes. I even made a cover. Then I stapled the lot together. So I now have a book of chapters which I can change and alter as I write but the general outline is there. I am back to twenty stories that are linked together. And I am not so scared.
I’m not sure how anyone else does this but I feel much happier now I know where I am going and the intricacies of the subplots. Wish me luck though – I think I will need it.