Every Book is Different

Every book is different. Not only the stories, the plots, the mood and tone, but even my working methods are different. Instead of sketching and drafting the whole novel, then going back to develop, simplify, tighten, expand, check continuity, consistency, and completeness, all the way through, then revision and corrections and polishes, as I usually do, this time I am hammering out each chapter of Soul Stone one at a time, every step up to a good clean draft. And I’m editing and revising and checking continuity as I write, instead of doing a clean pass all the way through. This is so different from the way I usually work, and I don’t know why I should be doing it this way.

But every book is different, in construction, form, atmosphere, demands, and even methods, as in this case. I have learned, the hard way, to work as my muse suggests, not according to somebody’s principles, even my own. This forging the story, chapter by chapter, is what’s working for me now. If I try to plan ahead (I do have an idea of what the ending is about — more or less), then I go off track, or stop cold, and can only throw those plans and pages away. And if I move ahead without finishing a chapter, when I go back to it I make changes that invalidate parts or all of the chapter following. For this book, forging this way works all the time.

One story at a time for Star Kings. One story-chapter at a time for The Empty House. Maybe I’m just evolving.