On not writing in order to write better

I finished the last book a couple of weeks ago and haven’t written a word since. I am working on the next one but I can’t just start writing. I do have to do a substantial amount of planning before I start drafting a new story and of course, in this case, I’m actually planning to draft several books back to back, an entire series, rather than just one. That way I get more fun writing in before I have to stop and start planning the next one.

(In case you’re wondering, this particular series is now looking like a quartet, but who knows? At this point I’m still only at the overall story arc stage.)

Planning works for me. It doesn’t work for everyone. Some people can’t do planning at all. It stifles the creative spark and leaves a cold dead shell staring at the computer screen. Others have to plan every single little event in their books. It’s a process which can take years. Yes, that’s right. YEARS.

I’m…somewhere in the middle. I start out with notes, and then I figure out the main plot points (the tent poles, as I think Blake Snyder puts it) and then I do a scene list. So, yeah, probably close to the nth degree planning end of the scale.

For one book, this takes a while. For four books… Please send cake and remember me fondly.