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Book Two - Where to Start...

YAY!! Songs in the Night is finally live on Amazon Kindle.

After two years of writing, it's ABOUT TIME. I'm so grateful seeing reviews and rating start to come in. SONGS is completely different from my previous series, and I've hoped and prayed it would find it's readers just as the Slave Series did. THANK YOU for giving it a chance!

Now, that being said, it's time to switch my focus to book two (to be named) and NOT take two years to write it. I don't have a date set, but I can tell you I am aiming for no more than a six month timeline between each book. This is a new challenge for me!

So where do I start coming out of the first book? For those of you who are writerly types, I wanted to jump on and share a small suggestion. Something I started doing with this second book and will probably do from here on out.

I should preference by reminding you that I'm a pantser. But even for plotters, this can be a great way to get momentum rolling.

Mind dumps are no new thing. It's where you grab a notebook or open your word document and start typing your thoughts in no particular order. Some writers are more organized than others with it. For some, each note is written on its own line or in bullet formatting, like this:

{BOOK TITLE} Notes -

  • Character one should do this certain thing midway.

  • Small town, winter, everyone in each other's business - think Stars Hollow.

  • This emotional beat...

  • That line I thought of and loved...

See what I mean? SUPER random, but organized.

With other writers, it all comes out haphazardly (*raises hand* this was my go to method). They're turning the page sideway to fit in another note. Circling things and drawing lines to connect them. I LOVE this. And still do it.

But I'm finding with subsequent books in a series that already have a foundation to build on, organization is key.

What I started doing with book two looks a lot like the first example, with one difference. I'm familiar with the characters now and their individual arcs. And since even an organized mind dump can be difficult to scan through once it gets lengthy, I've started using a highlighting system. Looks like this: (I'm using generic writerly terms for my categories for this example..)






  • MC ONE does this certain thing, and the consequence will be....

  • This festival coincides with their arrival.

  • His attitude subtly changes toward the team, developing into a tendency to isolate himself. MC ONE follows him into this certain situation, spying initially, but getting them both into trouble.

  • Deeper ANTAGONIST background info

All random examples, but you catch my drift. I'm finding that highlighting who's thread each note belongs to as I go makes sifting through the long list of thoughts much easier. If I'm specifically dealing with Eris's character development, I can go back to my notes and read the notes highlighted in her color. (If a certain note/idea directly impacts or is a result of the action of another character, I'll add a second note for that second character....)

And of course, you can always take this to the next level once you're finished with the random mind dump phase and type out each characters' notes on individual documents. If ya want. I didn't. ;)

In the end, we all develop what works for us. And often our strategies change! This might work for you, and if so...great! But if not, keep trying things. Eventually you'll land on the right strategy to keep your writing moving in the right direction.




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