This blog is dedicated to my Finding Anna series, and it's characters. I've developed it to be an interactive resource for my readers. Take a look around. Visit the playroom. Get to know each of the characters and even ask them questions. Above all...enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Planner or Fly By The Seat Of Your Pants

We are nearly half way through the month of March and it is as crazy as I knew it would be. At the beginning of last month, I received my deadline schedule from my publisher from now until the end of 2013. I know that sounds like a long way from now, but in the publishing world it isn't. The big publishers want anywhere a competed manuscript anywhere from one to two years before it gets into the hands of the readers.

Part of that writing schedule is getting the first three chapters of book 3 in my Finding Anna series written by the end of this month. The book isn't due out until summer 2013, and we haven't even finished editing Need yet, but I'm having to think ahead and figure out where these two go next.

This, of course, brings me to the title of my blog post today. I, am not a planner when it comes to my writing. I know some authors are and that's great. It just doesn't work for me. When I write an outline, I find I follow it for two chapters at most and then one or more of my characters throw me a curve ball I wasn't expecting.

You might be asking yourself right about now, how does she know there are going to be four books in this series if she doesn't outline? I guess I should qualify and say I don't use a written outline. My outlines take form in my head and they stay there. I know what a book will cover in the general sense, but rarely is it specific.

Because of this, and my deadline being moved forward by about six months, I've been spending some time this week pondering the beginning of book 3. Three chapters is a lot more ground to cover than it sounds. And when starting a new book, even a book that will be the third in a series, it has to be compelling and make the reader want to continue reading.

After several hours of pondering, I think I've finally found my opening for the book. Where it goes from there... I'm leaving that up to my characters.

So if you're an author, are you a planner or do you like to fly by the seat of your pants and see where your characters take you?

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