Sometimes the best advice is the telling off you give yourself
And Finally, writing the saga
Well, in the case of my Saga, called Dirt, I am still writing it.
I now keep copious notes and my time lines are well populated.
I am on the second series in the saga, but I have a two page outline for the plot of series three and am already adding notes to that file from things coming up in series two.
But, am I enjoying it?
You bet I am. When I first started I did keep detailed notes, I thought, but they were not detailed enough and I was very worried that I was going to spend so much time planning that I will hate writing the book.
It was an idiotic worry. By planning in a chatty way rather than trying to do it like I was taught at school and by remembering to put comments and jokes all over the place in my notes, the planning has been as fun as the writing and when I have sat down to write my thousands of words, I have been able to live the story along with my characters, fall in love with them, be shocked with them and surprise them and me just as much as if I hadn't planned at all.
I do not know really whether people will like my saga or not, but I know the story hangs together and I know the characters, even the fantasy ones, have truth and reality running deep with them.
The story I have created is long, complicated and the world is big and unpredictable. It has been and still is a labour of both love and hate, but without stopping halfway through book two and bothering to learn the few simple lessons I have talked about here, it would have collapsed and be sitting on the failed bin by now.
Yes, it is possible to sit and write a long, complicated story without detailed planning. But should you do it?
Not in a thousand years!