On the writing process

Not a long post today, but I’ve been thinking about changes in my writing process as I go about getting ready to work on Netwalk’s Children.  For one thing, this indie publishing thing?  Means I have NO EXCUSES about delaying getting to the work.  Doesn’t write itself, doesn’t put itself up, can’t mutter about editors taking a long time to hold up the work while they decide whether it fits their line/publication.  I’ve gotta write it and send it to my copyeditor.  Then it gets rewritten and sent to my formatter.  And somewhere in there I’ve got to think abut stuff like, oh, covers and publicity and all that good pile o’stuff that is part of the whole process.

Lots of work.  But, on the other hand, one really cool thing?  I can jump directly from revisions on Netwalker Uprising to planning Netwalk’s Children.  I CAN HAZ KEWL WORLDBUILDING WHILE WORKING ON CONTINUITY!!!

Yeah.  Got a little excited there.

I’m also getting a bit excited about Children.  It’s been a while since I’ve done new drafting/planning for a novel.  In fact, it’s been two years since I’ve done new novel work (shudder, why so long?  Inventory and all that good stuff.  One reason The Netwalk Sequence came about was the opportunity to get niche material out of inventory, experiment with consciously putting together a whole sequence of related stories/novels, and get that whole world out for people to find and enjoy).

To that end, I’m finding myself spending more time outlining and preplanning than I have in the past.  In the past, I’ve been a pantser about long form writing.  I knew kind of where the story would end up, knew the main points of a two-page outline, but the details?  Nuh-uh.

Not so with Children.  One reason for that is a hard self-imposed deadline–I want it ready to go up in late April or early May.  That means that when I do start writing, I need to be able to start writing.  Hard and fast.  It’s something I know I can do, but I’m realizing that to keep the pieces together without having to do tons of rewriting for continuity’s sake/fixing plot holes/etc, I need to have a more detailed writing plan than I’ve done for past books.

Additionally, Children is the first Netwalk story to be written since I started studying Interpersonal Neurobiology.  It’s the first significantly neuroscientifically informed Netwalk story, which means I need to identify where I go out and do more research.  Plus, I want to try doing this sort of detailed outline to see how it affects my actual writing process.  Ideally, I’d like to get it up on Scrivener and use that tool to help me put things together.  I need to integrate more technology tools in my writing work simply because otherwise I’m drowning in paper, and I need to simplify everything so I’m not lugging around a ton of reference materials.

However…the initial outline is going on paper.  Annoying, but given the time constraints of the Day Jobbe, that part of the process has to happen this way because of learning curves and all that.  After Children, perhaps even with Netwalk’s Descendants, I’ll be putting together stuff on Scrivener or some other like tool that I can find to port hopefully across to my tablet as well as laptop and desktop.  I’m starting to integrate materials for my nonfiction writing in that manner; it would be awfully damned nice if I could do the same for fiction.

I’m still not sure what the next project will be once I finish the Netwalk Sequence.  I have three short stories outlined, plus ongoing nonfiction projects.  I have portions of half-finished novels lying around the hard drive.  I also have the Peter McLoughlin Weird West sequence that is crying out to be written.

We shall see what the summer brings.

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