Today, June 28th, 2021, I completed my sixth novel!
It is, without question, my best work to date. I have always created very detailed, intertwined plans before starting on the first chapter. I've now found an approach that works even better for me.
Step 1: Detailed plan
I work through all the events that must occur, the logical basis to ground any science-fiction, the characters, and the underlying message. For this book, the plan itself is 74 pages long.
I did a lot of research for this book because it builds on the quantum physics Many Worlds model. I'll list all the books in a different post once the book is released, but looking at the stack of redlined books beside my desk, there are perhaps ten books with one more in the mail. I'm not going to be a physicist, the math alone is way over my head, but I want to at least ground the book to the point where the people who do understand will say, "Yeah, that could happen, it's possible." Possible is all you need if the story is good.
Step 2: Screenplay
I invested a lot of time earlier this year learning the mechanics of writing a screenplay. It really helped the way I think about a story and in this book I limited the situations where we can see what the characters are thinking and instead I showed the reader the character's words and actions and left it to the reader to decide how they feel and what they're thinking. I think that's a more natural approach. It's strange that in books we know what people are thinking anyway, that's not like real life.
The screenplay made it much easier to write the book. It was, not surprisingly, like a script for the characters. I spent less time tweaking the details once I was writing. I'd already figured almost everything out as I wrote the screenplay.
Step 3: Writing
I only have a couple hours a day to write, so I don't miss a day and bang away from five a.m. until I start work. There are always a few days when it feels good, but most days, it is hard and taxing work. But you keep at it and keep the story locked inside you so the only way it can get out is through the book. That has always worked well for me.
I'll have it available for purchase later in the year. Probably around October.