It’s been almost three weeks since I finished The Merchant of Dreams and sent it in to my editor, and my Muse is getting restless. I had allowed the whole of February to take a break from these books, but I see my friends tweeting about their word counts and scene-vanquishing and I feel left out. So, I reckon it’s time to step back into the fray and start planning the third and final installment in this trilogy.
I’m a bit nervous, because it’s been five years since I started writing a book completely from scratch. I know that I rewrote the first two so extensively that they might as well have been from scratch, but at least I had a vague foundation to go on, a few thousand words here and there that could be salvaged. This time all I have is a two-page synopsis that I wrote last October and a few accompanying notes.
I’ve learnt so much about how to plan and structure a novel in those five years, and yet now I feel like I have a full toolbox and no idea where to start. Do I draw a mindmap? Brainstorm some scenes on index cards? Follow the Snowflake Method? Maybe I should use this “free” time to try out different techniques? Part of me would really like to create a solid, reasonably detailed outline this time so that I can just sit down and hammer out the first draft, but I still don’t know if that’s a method that will work for me.
I guess I just need to jump, and hope I learn to fly on the way down…