Friday, June 11, 2010

Planning The Best Seller

I don’t think any writer sits down and says I’m going to write a best seller. I know that they all hope their book is well received and they plan what they might do should it make any money. But planning a best seller is out of the question.

What every writer does do is plan on writing the book. Everyone’s plan is different and believe me when I say I’ve probably tried them all. LOL!

Right now I must say it depend upon the book just how I plan for it. A lot of my bigger books, I do character charts and then think about what I would like to happen in each chapter for the number of chapters planned. I also think about the word count for each of those chapters. Long books, I tend to have longer chapters, short books shorter chapters.

For me a long chapter is about five thousand words and a short chapter is about half that amount. No matter long or short, I plan to do one chapter a day regardless of length. The reason I can do this is that all I do is write. I am lucky in this aspect of my life as a few years ago, my loving husband gave me the option of staying home and writing or continuing to work.

Since I was working at the time, I continued until they laid me off and I can honestly say, it has been one of the best decisions of my life. I love writing and love how happy I am when writing. What I don’t love is the constant interruptions from my family who swears I’m neglecting them. LOL! Well, their perception is wrong since I treat writing as a business. There are hours I must be in my office and hours I don’t have to be but frequently am.

If their request comes during a time I’m not required to be in my office, I will go do whatever it is they want me to do. Most of the time, they don’t see it that way at all. But with the youngest finally heading toward college, I know more and more of my time will be my own.

Now back to planning that book. Again, there are many ways to plan as well as the classes online to help you do so. When I first started, I was meticulous in planning every detail. But I am what is known as a pantser meaning I write by the seat of my pants. I just sit down and I write. However, if the book is over fifty thousand words, I will do the character charts and the plotting outline. If my book is a fantasy or sci-fi, I will definitely plan as I don’t want to get lost in the maze of what I’ve made up for that world.

If any of you have specific questions about planning, comment here and I will answer them in a later blog.

I have a quote today which is exactly how I see the planning thing. You do it when you’re doing something you don’t like so well. Here’s today’s quote:

The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie

Have a great reading and writing day! See ya tomorrow!

Lynn

8 comments:

  1. I like the Agatha quote :)

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  2. Love that quote.While raising my 7 kids I made some of my best decisions washing dishes. lol The only time I could drift off in peace. :) Then of course when they got older the kids took over the dish washing. lol I don't think writers get the credit they deserve for the work and research etc. that goes into writing a book and taking care of family as well. For that alone I'm eternally greatful for the hours of entertainment I receive from all your hard work.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

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  3. Although my writing is a different form (freelance journalism), my family often has the same feeling -- I'm neglecting them when I'm squirreled away in my home office. They sometimes forget that just because I'm home, I'm not at their beck and call!

    reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

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  4. Like you, I've always been a "pantser". The only problem I've had with that was I always stalled out at about the 50 page mark (I believe I've heard that term deemed "the 7 year itch" of writing - lol).

    So now I try to alternate between pantser and planner. And I've finally completed a MS. It's not nearly as fun for me, but at least I'm accomplishing a goal I hadn't before.

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  5. I do too, Beth!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Lynn

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  6. Carol,

    I thought it very appropriate for most writers as many of us are mothers.

    I would have to agree with you. Most people don't really understand the hours of work it takes to get a piece ready.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Lynn

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  7. LuAnn,

    Yup, families can really try to get to you. LOL!

    You have the patience I would never have for journalism. It can be a very difficult field as well. Good luck.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Lynn

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  8. Congratulations, Suzie!

    Writing is hard and a writer needs to get their first story completed by any means possible. Authors who do the combo thing sometimes do better than a complete pantzer.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Lynn

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