Category: Planning and Plotting

An Indie Author’s Guide to Planning Book Production

I am an indie author, so my deadlines and productions schedules are set years in advance, but they’re set by me. Which means that if I go through a period of conferences and more conferences and conventions followed by Type A flu, pneumonia, strep, and sinus infections that spread through my family, thus knocking me out of any definable work from mid-September to mid-November (what an autumn we had that year!), then the world is not going to collapse around me. However, that also means that I need to get out my dry erase markers and my year-at-a-glance laminated calendars and start shifting things around.

Writing in Layers: Part 1

I go into writing a book already knowing my characters, much like my artist friend has gone into painting this painting know what her subject is. So, I’ve already done my character research, I already know everything about them, and I already have my faith, romance, and, if necessary, suspense arcs of the project. See my post on Brainstorming Character Conflicts.
Once that is finished, it’s time do the plotting of the story. Basically, I think, “What happens in chapter 1?” Then I give a paragraph or two or three of the events that are going to unfold in chapter 1.

Brainstorming Character Conflicts

I write Christian romantic suspense, so inside that genre, I need to have a faith arc, a romantic arc, and a suspense arc. Each of those arcs require internal and external conflicts, motivations, and different characterizations.

When I’m setting up and getting ready to plot a book, the first thing (other than my characters) that I need to know are what those conflicts and motivations are, and how they’re going to be resolved/utilized.

The Blank Year In Front Of Me

I am a huge believer in organizing my plan, organizing my environment, and organizing my schedule so that there’s order around me and therefore my creativity can flow.The more organized I am, the better my life runs. It’s important to me that, as a homemaker, my household runs as smoothly as possible. The way my brain functions means to do that and to also allow that relaxed brain creativity for writing means everything has to be planned and structured.