Although the first novel hasn’t been published yet (August 1st 2017 is the tentative release date) I am close to finishing the first rough draft of the third novel and so thoughts inevitably turn to the fourth which I will start writing from next week.
The first novel I just started writing with no idea of what was going to happen in the story. The protagonist changed from being a man to a woman fairly early in and the chapters were reordered substantially during the edit.
With the second and third novels I started with an idea and started writing so that I didn’t know how the novels would finish until I was quite close to writing the end. The advantage of this method is that if I am interested in finding out how the story is going to end then the chances are that the readers are also going to be interested in finding out what happens to the characters. I find that as I am writing I don’t know what decision the character’s are going to make until they make them.
The disadvantage to this approach is in the structure of the story because it is much harder to create a good narrative arc with this method.
The next novel I intend to write is based on a true story so I have to be much more careful to plan our the narrative arc beforehand to ensure that the story is pleasurable to read and maintains the tension until the end.
Today I planned out a rough plan of 34 chapters which were based on a screenplay I wrote about the same story over six years ago.
I intend to use this rough plan as a guide when I begin writing the story which I hope to finish by Christmas.
It will be interesting to see whether this method shows dividends when it comes to the structural edit.