I don’t really have the energy to post much today—the little one was up all night (and I mean all night) being sick, which left me with about 3 hours worth of sleep. Despite that, I got up and did my dictation session on the treadmill before getting the older ones off to school so bonus points for me I guess.
Although, now that I look at it, I just gave away part of the surprise I was going to mention. Whatever—I’m tired. I’m working on the sequel to Sic Semper Tyrannis! I know—hot damn, right? Only three chapters into it, but I just finished reading Libby Hawker’s excellent guide to plotting called Take Off Your Pants: Outline your books for faster, better writing (you should have seen the look on Mrs. Richardson’s face when I announced “I took off my pants and plotted”). Y’see, every book I’ve written, I’ve set up the plot in different ways. I keep seeing how others do it and I think, oh, that’s cool, I’ll try that. Then I do, and it turns out to be more work than I thought. Then I lose interest in getting the plot worked and end up pantsing (writing by the seat of my pants a la Stephen King, who just lets the story comet to him). From the reviews of my work, this doesn’t seem to do half bad for me.
That said, I want something repeatable. I couldn’t tell you how I plotted AJE or Apache Dawn—I just know I did it different with each and wasn’t fully satisfied by either method. The last time, with my latest book (more on that in a bit) I tried writing things out on the ol’ whiteboard in my office. This was cool at first, but then I needed to take it with me, which necessitated writing it in notebooks and in my Scrivener file…which got tedious (why didn’t I just do it in Scrivener to begin with?).
But Ms. Hawker’s method…I’m hooked. I’ve been struggling to finish chapter 3 for almost a week now. After reading her book, I sat down, plotted the story from Erik’s perspective (I’ll need to do the same with each major POV character) and within about 10 minutes, I had a layout for his story and a guideline for what to dictate for the next chapter (which I’d been agonizing over for a few days as well!). Outstanding!
So—now you know that while my beta readers pour over Firestorm (the name I’ve settled on for Book 3 of the Wildfire Saga), I’m plowing ahead with AJE 3.
But wait, that’s not all! Before I pass out for a much-needed mid-afternoon nap, I wanted to share with you the other really exciting news: I’ve finalized the cover for Firestorm. Let me know what you think!