The fine art of the plan, first!

rafinesques-big-eared-bat-940x

Bats.

That got your attention, didn’t it?  Does the term “blind as a bat” hold any meaning for you? Not that you came here for a history lesson, but it originally meant “to have bad eyesight” because it was thought that bats can’t see. That clearly isn’t what this post is about.

You probably are wondering what bats have to do anything.

Previously I talked a bit about having a plan, and today I’m going to show you a little of it. I am not an expert at planning. I didn’t plan my best friend’s wedding or plan any birthday parties. Hell, I didn’t plan on doing lots of things that I wound up doing.

I am, however, going to plan this out.

I’ve learned over the years that planning makes things happen. I’ve also heard things like, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” or something along those lines. That’s most likely true. Most businesses, I don’t care what it is, have some sort of plan. It can keep you on track, keep you from getting stuck. Kind of like outlining (which, coincidentally, I haven’t done much up either), you already know where the book is going so you don’t have to make it up on the fly and hope it’s good. (Not debating the “pantsing” versus outlining here. They both have merit.)

With a business, you can’t “pants”.  You can’t (or shouldn’t) throw things up and see what sticks. Since I’m treating this as a business, and I want to be successful, I’m going to do some preliminary planning. I may break this into several posts and cover different aspects.

Part 1: Writing

I usually wing it when it comes to writing. This year (all of 2017) I’m trying something a bit different. I’m actually going to give outlining a try, in the hopes that it will speed up my writing process. I wrote a process based on some feedback from some questions I made in a writing group I’m in. Here it is:

  1. Outline as much as Possible.
  2. Write a careful draft. (I always discuss the plot with my wife as I go to keep from having holes, etc.)
  3. Read it out loud, line by line edit.
  4. Give it to my wife for proofreading, minor fixes, etc.
  5. Go through it and fix any issues she finds.
  6. Give to beta readers. Fix anything that comes up.

That basically covers the writing, and in what order I’m going to do things, although I may make changes as I go, specifically in the editing part. Currently, my budget is zero in regards to editing. That will most likely change as I get further into 2017. The list also includes time away from the list also includes time away from it, there will be several weeks between completing the draft and doing the line editing, that will (hopefully) allow me to come back and read(after much coffee) with fresh eyes.

That’s it for the writing. Next time I’ll go over my book release schedule. Feel free to leave me any questions in the comments. Thanks!