Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Novel Plan: A Recap

For the past few months, I've been sharing the process I use to plan my novels. The tips and techniques aren't earth-shatteringly new, but my goal has been to present these ideas in a way that might give you the same "aha!" moment they gave me.

Most of these methods I'm sharing I learned through a great novel planning course I attended a couple of years ago. It was the way in which these concepts were presented that finally clicked for me. All the pieces came together in a way that made sense and, even more importantly, made sense in a way I knew I could follow. It was logical, and I'm a logic kinda gal.

I promised that this month would bring this series to the point at which all the individual pieces finally merged into one: the beat sheet. The beat sheet is the final tool I create before starting to actually write.

Unfortunately, as with even the most perfect novel plan, sometimes wrenches fly at you from all sides. For every post I've done in this series, I've gone into extreme detail, and I want to do the same when I discuss the beat sheet.

In the midst of a tight deadline for writing the sequel to BECOMING JINN, I received my copy edits for book one, which means we are getting close to being done. Yay! Cover, ARCs, all to come--and soon!

Exciting, but the reality is a very short (and I mean four days) time to review the copy edits. I need to accept that this particular wrench has been tossed my way and ask for your patience in revealing that final novel planning tool of the beat sheet. I can't do it justice at the moment.

However, perhaps you are new to this novel series I've been writing or you don't quite remember what I started with last fall. What better way to pass the time until next month than by reviewing all I've presented so far?

Here are the links to all the pieces of how to plan your novel we've covered up until now. Review and we'll all be ready for that ultimate tool--the beat sheet--next time!

Step 1: The importance of writing exercises

Step 2: Understanding inside and outside story and making sure you have both

Step 3: Creating real characters that have "a wound and a want"

Step 4: How to effectively use setting

Step 5: The essence of structure

Step 6: Merging structure and the free-write synopsis

Whew, I think that'll keep us all busy until next month!

Lori Goldstein is the author of Becoming Jinn (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, Spring 2015, sequel, Spring 2016). With a degree in journalism and more than 10 years of experience, Lori is a freelance copyeditor and manuscript consultant for all genres. She focuses on the nitty-gritty, letting writers focus on the writing.

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