On Penning the New Novel

Since attending the DFW Writers Conference I have been in deep preparation and planning for my next novel.

The title is still in the works.  And the characters.  The story could use a little  ( a lot) work and I haven’t quite figured out what a Garglurk really looks like.  But it’s in the works.


When I wrote my first two novels, which are unpublished and will remain so until I get better and come back to revive them, were ones in which I sat down and started writing.  No planning.  No thinking (okay, a little).  Just pen to paper and fast-drafted.  And you know what?  They actually turned out really good!

Sure the writing sucked and some stuff was in the wrong place but for the most part I got some really good stuff!  The problem arose near the end of the second book.  Since this was supposed to be a five book series it was kind of hard to write five books while making all five of them up as I went.  I eventually had to sit down and collaborate all the sticky notes and scraps of paper and napkins I had accumulated with ideas and begin to really form my world.

The real sobering slap in the face came at the conference when a fellow attendee asked what the tech level of  my world was.  I had always imagined something between a Tolkien  and Eragon landscape but my response came out like:

“Well—it’s kinda like, no there’s metal there.  And spires, lots of spires in that one city. But they have guns.  Sometimes.  Only when I remember to add them in.”

Pretty embarrassing.

SOOO for now I’m laying everything out.  I’m going to lay the series path out too but I’m going to try to leave a good chunk of that up to simply writing as well.  I think there are some ideas that come better on the fly.

The things I’m planning:



Tech Level (Very meticulously)









So what style do you guys use?  Is it on the fly or super planner?  What do you plan out?   Do you think one way works better than the other?