Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Book ephemera

Only three days to go until the A-Z Challenge 2017 kicks off! I'm busy finalising my posts and as part of this process, I've been going back through all the files for my books. Not just the drafts themselves, but lots of other little things surrounding them. So I thought it would be fun to have a closer look at some of these...
  • Out-takes
Erm, yeah, I've got a lot of these. I was surprised to discover I had 17,789 words of deleted stuff for Book 1. Most of this amounts to over-explanation of certain things and telling instead of showing. In contrast, I've only taken one 250-word scene out of Book 2. But I'm yet to get into serious edits for that. I'm sure it'll grow exponentially.
  • Timeline
I find these indispensable, as I always tend to lose track of what day it is. So far I've only got one for Book 1, which only takes place over a couple of weeks, but it's a busy couple of weeks. It's important to know what happens when.
  • CP Notes
It's essential to keep all these in one folder so I can compare and contrast what different people thought of each thing. That helps me weigh up what changes to make.
  • Book 2 Notes
Not CP notes, but a list of various things to be checked and verified, often in relation to Book 1. It's surprisingly easy to have things that contradict each other in a series so I need to make sure everything adds up seamlessly.
  • Book 3 Plan
I don't normally do a lot of planning, but for the final book in the trilogy it seemed a pretty good idea, so I wouldn't veer off down an irrelevant track. In a lot of ways this is the most important book as it has to tie everything together. Everything's still open to change as the story develops, though.
  • Book 1 Marketing Plan
I started this a while back, as I originally planned to release Book 1 earlier, but decided to have the rest of the series written first. It's a handy thing to keep a hold of, adding or amending certain items as trends change.

I'm sure lots of you have similar things for your books and probably much more - Pinterest boards, character profiles, storyboards, wall charts. (If I had my own office, the walls would be covered with WIP-related stuff!) I'd be interested to hear all about it.

10 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick- it's good to have one's own archive of eclectic notes, possible beginnings, tenuous or determined ends ... I just tend to have lots of unpublished blog posts or potentials ... but food for re-entry into the world at some stage. I can see pinterest boards, character profiles etc etc ... would be really handy - as well as room full of white boards with infographics on them! Cheers and here's to the A-Z - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That will be interesting stuff. My critique partners are funny and I've posted some of their comments before.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great that you are so organized. If you're writing a series and can plan it out like you have, I think it helps to not feel like you made a mistake in book 1 or 2 that doesn't work with how you want the series to end in book 3.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I love comparing CP notes - opinions can vary so much!

Looking forward to your posts in April :-)

Sherry Ellis said...

You seem pretty organized. That's awesome!

Liz A. said...

A story bible is vital. Sounds like yours is organized well.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Using outtakes is a great idea. I cut so much from some of my books I could do a whole new side story with them.

JeffO said...

My "System" is more like one massive pile of documents in a single folder (or maybe with a couple of subfolders, like 'revison 1', 'revision 2' etc.) It actually occurred to me just this week that a scene from my RiP that I dropped two drafts ago could be revised and adapted for the same project, but occurring between different characters than when I originally wrote it. Now, I've got to find it in the mess....

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Those will be great things to take a closer look at!

Robert Bennett said...

You are a drastically more organized and prepared person then myself when it comes to writing...