This week, I have been thinking a lot about the research and planning of my novel. Before, I’ve not always bothered with it as much as I maybe should have done. It actually scares me a little. It all seems overwhelming. I’ll have a vague idea of the plot and who the main characters are but will then find that names will change half way through.
I continuously ask myself ‘how much is enough’ before it stops being helpful and starts becoming procrastination and a distraction from the actual writing of the novel.
The idea of planning also has me wondering, if I know too much about my characters and my story, what surprises are left for me to find let alone the eventual reader? The answer…probably more than I think.
Now it’s October, I am thinking about my novel idea for National Novel Writing Month next month and again, I am wondering how much planning and research to do.
Some published authors plan down to the very last detail, some only have an outline of the plot and a brief bio on the characters. Some authors go on research trips whilst others don’t bother unless they can find it on Google.
I have got half way through a Nano novel and got stuck because I don’t know where I want to story to go and it’s then that I wished I had planned it a little.
My plan for this month is to at least give myself an outline rather than rely on what I have in my head. I know it’s time consuming now but I know future Laura will thank me.
Being able to write with nothing but an idea will maybe come in time but I’m learning, for this first book that planning and research is everything.
I’m off to write two outlines, one for The Back-up Plan and one for the Nano novel.
How much planning do you do before writing a novel? Do you have any tips for other writers?
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.