Strangely I am a mixture of the two. When I'm writing a new book I need to have the title first, then the names of the characters and then I have a rough idea in my head what the story is about. That is the extent of my planning for my Regency stories – for my World War II sagas there is usually considerably more.
I keep a record of any names and places– butlers/maids/horses/siblings and family members etc etc then I can make sure I don't use the wrong name and also that I avoid using the same names too often in subsequent books.
I just start writing and then after the first couple of chapters the book begins to write itself.
However, I am a compulsive list maker and plan everything else in my life to the nth degree. I have already mapped out my work schedule for 2015 – I know exactly what I intend to write – when it must be ready to be sent to the editor/proofreader and when I need to get the cover designed. I have also mapped out what I will publish in 2016 – although I haven't decided the order in which the books will come out – just what I want to write.
When I start a new project I enter in my diary where I expect to be in the book on any given day so that I know when it will be finished. I aim to write ten thousand words a week, as well as keep up with social media, editing and proofreading, research, and all the other things that are part of a busy writer's life.
I am also my husband's carer and try and take him out at least four times a week in the mornings – add to that my three times a week at the gym – and you will see why I need to plan everything carefully.
|Out in July 2015
I love what I do and wouldn't have it any other way. If I didn't have my writing, and all the friends I've made all over the world because of it, I might well feel sorry for myself.
Next time I will post about 'Victoria's War - Shadows' part one of my two-part family saga which will be published towards the end of this month. This book is very important to me as it was inspired by my mother's memoirs.
Fenella J Miller