There are many ways to write a book and just as many styles of writing. You cannot say one way is right while the other is wrong. There is no black and white answer. Just as there is in any creative art, almost the entire philosophy is in the gray scale, as it should be. Imagine if all writing was the same and there were specific rules you had to abide by whenever you wrote a book? It would be like having to eat the same thing every day or listening to the same song over and over. Creativity in writing is what makes us want to write and want to read.
I am in the middle of writing my second novel. I will admit, this is the first novel that I have planned out from beginning to end, simply because it is a thriller that has several plot twists. But the necessity of planning came to light after the second chapter (the second murder if you will).
In my first novel, Highway One, it was a straightforward journey following one man’s trek down the Pacific Coast Highway. It was easy to follow and not too many twists and turns. I was able to keep the reader on track, as well as my writing moving forward while penning this book. Therefore, planning it out at the beginning was not as important. (At least for me.)
In my second book, which I am currently writing, it is a thriller that has multiple events taking place in multiple locations with multiple people being involved. Just thinking about it made it necessary to plan it out on paper. It has allowed me to see where the plot was going and to make sure I did not leave any holes in the plot that could potentially confuse the reader.
Some benefits of planning your book:
- Organization – You can group your scenes and events in a logical order that makes it easy for your reader to follow.
- Detect Problems Early – You can see if your plot may have holes or perhaps too much is happening in one chapter and not another. You will be able to detect these and fix them before you even start to write.
- Change the Flow – If you feel something needs to be changed, you can do it while planning instead of in the middle of your writing.
- Faster Time To Finish – If you plan your writing, you can sometimes finish a lot faster because you will not have to stop in the middle to readjust the plot, or to make corrections on characters that all of a sudden show up.
Planning your book before you write can be a huge benefit. Even if you take it one chapter at a time, and plan out the chapter scene by scene, it could end up saving precious time to complete your masterpiece.
PS: I finally have an online portfolio that I have put together using Issuu.com. Here, you can see some of my writings from book excerpts to completed short stories that have never been published before.
Check it out when you have time and let me know what you think.