Whether you’re a planner or a pantser, there are going to be numerous things that happen throughout the course of your book that you didn’t anticipate … and we need to keep track of these nuances – especially if you’re writing a series.
For Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a beautiful pocket notebook from her European travels this summer. For my newest book series I’d been using a smaller, spiral-bound pocketbook that was already starting to fall apart. As I transferred my notes over (with the mindset that the entire series of notes would eventually be encapsulated in this little tomb) I realized just how much had changed from my initial idea.
So I started getting properly organized.
I mean, I’m usually a planner but this book started out as a NaNoWriMo project from 2014 that I only just finished after NaNoWriMo 2015 (not exactly a book in a month), and I let the planning for this one slide – which is why it wasn’t finished in 2014. Now, I’m culling through my notes on main characters, taking away what doesn’t make sense anymore and adding the new things I’ve discovered.
I’m also organizing my research.
Yep. It’s an Urban Fantasy so there’s lots of notes on various potential characters revolving around what I discovered in the world of the Fae. I’m neatening this stuff up, adding to it, and leaving extra space in my notes for new ideas as the series continues.
All of this ‘organizing’ is helping gear my brain up for book 2.
I know this is a series, so I want all my soldiers lined up and ready for action. By simply going over this information and putting my notes in order, I’m even discovering a few points that I’d like to add to the main novel once I get it back from my Beta Readers in January – things I don’t think I put enough emphasis on.
Why do all this work with paper and pen?
Because I like to. It gets me more connected to my writing in a way. But that doesn’t mean you need to do exactly what I’m doing. If having files of notes pop-up on your computer works best for you, or you happen to have a nifty writing program (like Scrivener) you enjoy using … then top up the notes you already have before moving forward.
It’s like the week following Christmas – eventually everything unwrapped and sitting under the tree will find its new home 😉