Tuesday is the New Monday

I've broken my first rule of book writing by beginning my next manuscript without an outline. The plan is to bang out a 30k draft with the beginning, middle and end which I know because I wrote a detailed synopsis for my editor. And from there take a break from actually writing it and take an overview of what the story needs and then write the outline. Which for me functions as a task master and keeps me on track.

And, unlike my last three books, I'm not doing the short chapters this time around. Even the kid has commented on my tendency to make a paragraph a chapter and wind up way in the 40s when all is said and typed. So this time I'm trying something new and it's kind of fun. Formatting is a big part of getting into the processes. Kind of like dancing, once you know the steps, it's easier to improvise and make it your own. (Man, that sounds a little airy fairy.)

But even I have to admit I need a little more structure, so I'm using a 12 month calendar (in this case 2007) and jotting down notes and dates that relate to the plot, so it's functioning a mini-outline of sorts. With Life Over Easy (Kensington, October 2007) I had tons of trouble keeping my dates straight because I didn't cross reference as carefully as I should have with a calendar and my outline. I had to go back again and again to make sure things were happening when they should be or when I said they had in an earlier chapter. Lesson learned. More Than This (Touchstone, August 2008) takes place in little over a week, eight days, and even that took a little coordinating.

Current word count: 7,073.

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