Are You Planning to Fail

Read any articles on writing a novel or follow many authors and they all speak about how important planning your story is. Many courses I have studied and books I have read go meticulously into how to plan your novel.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

There are many techniques from storyboards, to notebooks, to post it notes. There is even a planning feature on Scrivener, one of my favourite writing apps. I have religiously planned two of my novels every chapter. The third I have pretty much left to chance knowing where I want to go but not how I am getting there. I can’t say which method has been easier but seeing as the only one not finished is the one not planned this might speak volumes.

However, does planning make you a better author? Not if I look at the advice of my favourite author Chris Carter. He has written 9 horror/crime books and not planned one of them. He says that he has an idea and sometimes a rough finish point and after that he lets the characters take him on a journey. His writing is fast-paced and hooks you, for this particular author not planning is his key to success.

He is not alone on this

“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!” Ray Bradbury

“Outlines are the last resource of bad fiction writers who wish to God they were writing masters’ theses.” Stephen King

I think the best advice is to find a method that works and stick with it. As our writing will all be individual so should our process. Plan for success but don’t plan just to plan.


Streamline Your Input

Since the new year I have been struggling with content. I haven’t posted for over a month and nothing I write seems to be good enough, in my opinion , to publish. I have hit what most writers call a slump.

My output at present stands at two novels completed on their first draph but not edited and a number of blogs. Three blogs to be precise one for book reviews, one for my little girl and this blog. I also have a Facebook readers group and a personal Twitter to update. All have suffered in equal parts. Like children I have ignored them all equally.

Before today I had several other blogs and places I posted but I have today made a conscious effort to streamline these to concentrate on a few and not the many.

For those who follow my blogs you will remember just before Christmas I wrote everyday for a couple of weeks. So I have decided to challenge myself again. This time the challenge will be to publish three times a week to a variety of places and to have completed/edited one chapter of my manuscripts a week.

I have also enrolled in a creative writing course so will have to make time to complete the modules in this as well. All this on top of work and my baby girl should make for a busy week.

Do any of you set yourselves personal targets? If so what are they?