So, yes, the previous blog post was getting waaaaay too long when I was writing what I'm doing differently now. Here is a nice, shiny new one that I can go in depth with.
What's different in my Process:
As I said in the previous blog post, I aim to eliminate my repetition of certain words/phrases, as well as passive voice, and tightening up my show vs tell. So, I now am doing things a bit differently from how I used to.
I would say I was a "pantser" in that I would just fly by the seat of my pants and let the story write itself. As I've grown as a writer over the past 13 years, I have realized this doesn't work for me anymore, which is totally okay! We always grow as a writer as we write more. Having said that, I'm now a "planner"!
Where did I start? I first did some research. I want to make sure that I not only write the strongest story possible, but also the most bankable/publishable one possible. I want to appeal to both readers and agents/publishers.
For this particular genre (historical/Gothic romance/thriller/Paranormal) I have narrowed it down to a 90k word goal (by some math using the guide on this site). That's roughly 350+ pages (I used 360 as my goal #). I then broke that down into my desired chapters by my average chapter length (roughly 10 pages/chapter cause I'm keeping it the same), which gave me roughly 35 chapters. I had already written a prologue & plan to do an epilogue as well, so 35 seemed like a cushy number for me. So, this gave me prologue, chapters 1-35, and epilogue.
I then broke down where the beginning, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and end points in the story would be, page, chapter, and word count-wise. And then I added in my important plot points that I had from a wee synopsis I did, as well as following a typical story structure (which can be found on this site but also see image, as I used that, specifically).
When that was said and done, I then filled in the gaps chapter by chapter with more plot points to flesh out the story. Of course, this is just a rough outline. I'll know better how the story is going and adjust it as I go.
Speaking of as I go, I have also decided that I will be editing as I go, which can be a no-no, but some authors suggest doing it this way. Re-read what you have and in my case, I copy and paste what I have written into OutWrite to completely edit it. Right now, I'm using the free option, but I plan on doing the subscription for it to utilize all the perks.
Once I have the chapter cleaned up, I paste it BACK into Word. I re-read it AGAIN. Make more adjustments, then when I'm satisfied, I print out the chapter. This way, when I write "THE END" I have the entire manuscript printed out, ready for draft 2 and extensive polishing.
What's the same in my Process:
I still have a 10 page goal/day. I'm going to implement a schedule in with a start date & end date. The days I don't make 10 pages, the remaining number will roll over to the next day—so a 10 page goal will turn to 13 if I only made 7 the previous day. This means recording my page counts as I go as well.
A schedule for writing is important, but I'm going to implement a daily schedule as well, give myself some structure so that I can focus. Reading will be important as well, which I will fill in at the end of my day, so I can relax and unwind.
That's about it! Whole new me, basically, when it comes to writing. I do suggest that if you're stuck in your own process, checking out NaNoWriMo's site is an excellent source! You don't have to participate, but they have excellent world-building tips and tricks.
I also suggest reading Stephen King's On Writing. I mean, not everyone is going to be able to do it like he does--we all have our own process. But again, you find tips & tricks, and sometimes, it's a good way to shake things up and try a new method for your madness.
Another site I like: https://blog.reedsy.com.
I will update as I go, letting everyone know how it's going!