Writing Update: Plotting a New Book

It’s been a while since I’ve given any sort of a real update on my writing. Not because I haven’t been doing any, but mainly because I’ve been in sort of a switched mode from my regular routine. I finished a draft of THE MEMORY THIEF a month or so ago, and my agent is currently reading it closely for another edit. Still some issues to iron out. I have some ideas on how I’d like to revise GET CUPID, but I’ve been purposefully giving myself some time away from the novel before I start in on them in earnest. And then this is the time each year when I write my Holiday Newsletter to go out to family (and be posted on the blog later–they just (finally!) went out yesterday, due to some snow we’ve been having up here, which messed up our mailing plans).

So my current projects that I’ve told you all about are all in various stages of “waiting”ness. (Don’t get me started on TARNHELM. I still love the book, and most of the editors I heard back from enjoyed it, too. But they had similar books in the pipes, or they worried the audience would be too small, or they just haven’t gotten around to reading it, or they didn’t like it, or–or–or . . . Perhaps this is a book I’ll just epublish. I haven’t had that conversation with my agents yet, and I’m not sure if that’s something I really want to do. Wait a minute. I thought I told you not to get me started on TARNHELM? Where was I?)

Ah yes. The waiting game.

So that means that it’s time for me to be starting a new book. and starting one I am. (What will hopefully turn out to be my 12th finished novel. There are four others that were started but set aside in varying degrees of Not Done.) I’m still in the plotting phase right now, and that’s a process I still struggle with. Of the 15 books I’ve worked on, 11 of them were written off the cuff. I just sat down and started typing. All of those were my earlier efforts, and they all were such a huge pain to revise that I swore never to do that again. What this means is that I don’t have nearly the amount of practice plotting that I should have. Such is my lot in life.

What’s this next book about? I’m not entirely sure at the moment. I know there are some psychics involved, and I’m leaning toward the inclusion of a sinister investment firm and some spy hijinks. I’m also looking at doing two viewpoint characters again–something I haven’t tried since book #3 (WEAVER OF DREAMS). And one of them would be a girl, a POV I haven’t written since . . . books #1 and #2 (INTO THE ELEVATOR (Worst. Title. Ever.) and THE BLOOD COUNTESS.)

But at this point, it’s really just at the brainstorming stage. Putting ideas down on paper. Looking at building block basics of plots and how to tie them together to make a cohesive whole. If any of you out there have some schweet plotting tips, I’d love to hear them. I’m all for learning from others, especially if it saves me from some floundering.

Anyway, I’ll keep at this until I hear back on MEMORY THIEF, and then I’ll do another draft of that. At that point, I’ll shoot for finishing the plot of this next book, and then either move right on to writing it, or else move over to a GET CUPID revision. I feel bad that it’s been three years since VODNIK was accepted for publication, and I have no other books heading to a bookshelf near you. I only have one that’s been on editors’ desks. My hope is 2014 changes that statistic a fair bit. I’d like to have two more floating around the offices of New York before the year is out.

Let’s see if I can do it!

2 thoughts on “Writing Update: Plotting a New Book”

  1. I would seriously consider using the beat sheet from Save the Cat to do your early outlining. Did I send you my outline for that? It’s made my outlining process about 100 times easier and more effective.

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