Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Then What?

A peek inside my planning brain (if you can stomach it):

In a few weeks, I should be done with the (latest) revision of the WIP I’m working on (the sequel to KILLER ROUTINE). Then I need to proof the galleys for KILLER ROUTINE. Then I have a short story I’ve written, but need to submit. I also have some ideas for the next book in the Last Laff series I should get on paper. Then… Then…

Then what?

I have an idea for a stand-alone thriller. Interesting premise, strong characters, good plot (what I’ve got so far, in my head—I haven’t actually written anything down yet). But before I start outlining it, I need to do a few things. I need to see if it’s “been done” before. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to research that, but I think I’ll start with der Google and see where that takes me. Then I need to run it by my agent to see if she thinks it’s a good use of my writing time and energy. While the story intrigues me, I’m not sure I want to tackle the book if it’s not marketable. Then I need to pull out my calendar (yes, the “paper” 2011 planner I bought at the dollar store) to see if/when I can shoehorn it in, amidst the promotional activities for the release of KILLER ROUTINE in April.

And of course, like everyone else, I’ve got a billion other things to do.

How do you plan your long-term writing projects?



Anonymous said...

Alan - Interesting question! I try to plan one story at a time in terms of the plot details and so on. As far as character development goes, I'm thinking of my writing in terms of a series (e.g. OK, so what will happen in this person's life...).

Paul Yarbrough, Author said...

Mr. Orloff,
Plan? I make it up as I go ( I'll bet some of this you do, as well). My first novel, MISSISSIPPI COTTON, (to be published) comes out in the spring, I hope. I have written another that I am tinkering with and am about 4 chapters into a third. I've had a handful of short stories and essays published but circumstances being such, (I ain't making a lot of money so far) my billion other things keeps me thinking in the car, in the shower, and jotting down little notes, which I constantly lose.
One of the authors at Wido sent me your blog. Good luck.
Paul Yarbrough

Hart Johnson said...

I have more ideas than time, but when I am thinking about what to write, I DO evaluate the time I have. For instance, I had 5 options for NaNoWriMo, but 2 were for series, and if I am committing to a series, I want to get all the details really RIGHT, and two were for deep, serious, need research suspense books, None of those seemed reasonable for a 30 day sprint, so I chose the one that was left--a YA Murder Mystery.

I have a contract, so my next one after this will be the 2nd Gardening Cozy (2 ideas--my editor gets to pick WHICH I pursue)

Between those, i am editing--the one I chose to EDIT was the one I thought was the closest to REALLY SEXY *cough*--okay--I thought it was my best bet for a breakout for my suspense stuff (since the Cozy mystery is under a pen name).

I keep notes on my ideas, and I hope to get to a a place where I run ideas by my agent and then write that book, but I know which one she would have suggested go next, and it's one of the series ones, and I just wasn't ready to fly with it... too attached to getting it just right.

Alan Orloff said...

Margot - With your steeltrap memory, I wouldn't be surprised if you could keep a dozen stories straight in your head.

Paul - I know what you mean about scraps of paper with good ideas strewn about the house. I think I need a personal valet. Thanks for visiting the blog and good luck with MISSISSIPPI COTTON!

Hart - Thanks for the peek inside YOUR planning mind. Sounds like you've also got a lot on your plate. If I get a personal valet, I'd be happy to share him/her with you!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I don't think I can even think more than 3 months out! I try to, but I think I'm a short-term thinker these days.

You know, I wouldn't worry if your story has been done before. It *hasn't*. There are no Alan Orloffs who have written that thriller! It'll be awesome.