I changed my MO. You could argue it was a bizarre thing to decide to do after publishing eleven novels using a tried and trusted method. But the last two books had major issues and both had been restarted, costing time and the pain of tens of thousands of words hitting the bin.
So, working with my new editor, Gillian Redfearn for the first time on a brand new novel, corners were turned and new directions taken. Gillian suggested I draft a detailed novel breakdown and then we go through it together. Somewhat reluctantly, this was done.
It worked, all right? Problems were spotted and cured, where pacing would dive, it was corrected, where characters might be weak, fail safes were included … all that sort of stuff.
That didn’t mean I couldn’t change the plan. Far from it and indeed Beyond the Mists has a surprise important character, a scene I hadn’t even thought of until the day I wrote it (and it’s my favourite in the book), and an ending for more than one character that was not on the slate at the outset.
But what it gave me was a core direction and staying on the mainline nearly all the way through made the process so much smoother, and so much more enjoyable. Thanks, Gillian.
I have to work on the ‘regular updates’ thing. Still really rubbish at that.