Day five

It’s day five in plotting, which is sort of misleading, as plotting a new book starts months before I actually print out my header onto blank pages and pick up that pencil. But it is the fifth day in my office focusing on it. I’m always surprised at how every book comes out the same, but they never progress in the same manner. Index cards are relatively new to me. I’ve used them on perhaps only five books, but I’ve found that multiple POVs require them, and I’m becoming fond of them now.

Pencil and paper though . . . they have been with me forever, along with the pattern of  two or three increasingly complex synopsis starting from three sentences, to about three pages. And then come the chapter outlines, a page apece. That’s what I’ll take with me to the computer. That’s what the mess is there on my desk as I take the bones of the cards and translate them into a fleshy, squishy, malleable outlines that still look like something.


Yesterday I hit a snag, and so reached for the cards to supplement my synopsis, creating and spreading that neat little pile of binder-clipped index cards you can see there across my sofa, laying them out into individual character paths before I scooped them up, one by one, in order of happening. I’m three quarters of the way through them now, and my desk is messy but my path is clear.  I figure I can push through the rest today, and let it sit next week while I brush through the Peri/Morgan mash up novelette before I turn it in.

My lady slipper orchid is on its second flower, but you can see a third, and perhaps fourth or even fifth hinting at coming out. I had no idea they were multiple bloomers in one season. Huh. I think I’ve had this plant for nearly a decade with hardly a flower, and look at it go now.

SecondBloomAmazing what can happen when you give a little water and sun.



Filed under Drama Box

27 responses to “Day five

  1. Chris

    Kim I know it is off topic but we’re can I get my hands on the short story from AL that came out shortly after The Witch with no name. Thank you and looking forward to more of your work

    • Hi Chris. I need more than that. What was it called? I’ve got a couple of years and perhaps three different stories under my belt since I worked on the Hollows, and I’m too lazy to try to figure out which story you’re looking for. It’s buried.

    • Chris

      It was a short story released just after witch with no name from also point of view and it was available only on e reader I think I will try and figure out more by going back in the Facebook posts

    • Chris

      Sudden backtrack is the title

  2. Very relieved to know that I’ll find out what’s next for Peri!!!!!!

  3. SquidgeWA (aka JKH)

    Lovely orchid. I’m very good at depressing them…Have just read The Drafter, and am rereading Sideswiped. Aha! Fills in the gaps a bit, both ways. Enjoying the concept, and Peri, and Silas…

  4. Wow! It seems like you’re playing a very good RPG and keeping very good notes! Work, sure but fun too. I so look forward to the stories!

  5. I am absolutely jealous of your writing set-up. Do you find it easier to write on a desktop rather than a laptop? Also, I was wondering how you flesh out your chapter by chapter outlines. I’m just starting to get comfortable with outlining, but I notice everything kind of mashes together, and it can get quit frustrating/defeating.

    By the way, I can’t wait for your next book/tour as well. You are and will always be one of my favorite (if not favorite) author (ever).

    • Hi Alexis. To tell you the truth, I’m not that comfortable on a laptop, and use it only for my internet outreach. I like working in my office so my muse knows where to find me. But having said that, I wrote one of the Truth books on a laptop while on a 30 ft sailboat for a month.
      Fleshing out the chapter outlines is simply throwing down the dialog on the computer, and then going back and filling in the text. For me, putting that dialog down helps keep me focused. You might want to try it and see if it works for you. 🙂
      Good luck!

  6. Vampyre

    This post made me warm all over. I’m so happy to see you’re working again. I’m looking forward to your next book and tour.

    • Thanks, Vampy, but I never stopped working. Even so, that next book tour isn’t likely to be until 2017. I’ll be there if you’ll be there.

    • Vampyre

      Sorry to hear that for what it implies. If I win that 1.5 billion dollars tonight, I’ll buy a few thousand extra books and pass them out.

  7. Katie Booth

    Where did you go to school or learn how to pick up or put into practice a writing process. I’m still stagnating with anxiety, writers block, etc. If I could figure out some sort of a process that would help, do you have any classes or book recommendations?

    • It’s all self taught, Katie, with some help from my old writer’s group. I haven’t had any formal training in the literary arts, and it shows from time to time with embarrassing results. But it gives me a freedom that a lot of formally trained artists might not feel comfortable with.
      That, and I’ve been at it for a quarter of a century. (grin) Trial and error.

    • SquidgeWA (aka JKH)

      Katie, I’m not a published author or a college graduate but I do write. One of the best ways to hone your writing skills is just to do it. Don’t worry about getting everything published or whether every phrase is perfect, just write. Keep a journal, either electronic or handwritten. Spill out your observations, thoughts, etc. It’s like riding a bicycle or learning to knit, or anything else: Just keep doing it.

  8. Happy dances this means we are going to get the next book and see what do realize we use to have nails now there stubs from worrying over the chars…hehehe… Yippy the next book will be coming !

    HUGS !!!!

  9. Malizza

    It’s always really neat to hear all the time and thought an author puts into their writing. I appreciate your efforts and can’t wait for the next book.

  10. Lynn Sebourn

    I’m glad you shared this. I’ve always wondered how authors kept up with who said what when where etc. I know each person does it differently so it’s nice to know how you do it. Good luck, keep writing, and I’ll continue to read your great books.

  11. Carla L

    I’m glad to see another post from you!! And even more happy that you have come back and started doing what you love once again. Can’t wait for the next book!

  12. naturallydotty

    So organised! I couldn’t do that because The Cat would destroy the whole process – he likes shredding paper.

  13. Sarah

    Thank you so much for a post like this. The writing process is such a unique “thing” to every writer and its extremely intriguing to see how you get from that simple spark of an idea to finished pages. I can not wait to see what you have brewing next. Again thank you for all you do. Your fans appreciate it.

  14. Ashley U.

    What a great post! So exciting to see your creative process in action. I’ve finished Backdraft and The Drafter twice now and I’m so eager for more Peri! 🙂

  15. Ed Carson

    Glad you seem to be getting past your down phase. Can’t wait for you next effort. Happy 2016.

  16. Claudia D.

    Can’t wait for something new from you. Whether it be Peri or Rachel I will read it. They are both such interesting characters in interesting worlds. Thank you for your talent and perseverance.

  17. Love the desk picture – from chaos comes beautiful things! And the orchid is amazing. Never had much luck with them, myself. Can’t wait for Peri’s next adventures!!!

  18. Martin

    Thank you for sharing your creative process. I always look forward to new books from you.

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