Starting Book Number Two

It’s only taken the best part of twenty months and two rewrites, but I pretty much done with Novel Number One. I’ve sent it into the NWS for a second time and whilst I wait for the verdict, I need to start thinking about Novel Number Two.


So far I have the title, the main character and the problem she faces, but in order to not take twenty months over this one, I’m hoping I’ve learned a thing or two from the first.


I thought I’d share how I plan to approach novel number two.

  • Set a goal for the number of words I want to achieve. Generally, I try for at least 1,000 words a day.
  • Write them, even if they’re rubbish.
  • Complete character profiles before I start writing.
  • Avoid earthquake plots. See an earlier blog to find out what I mean.
  • Plot at least an outline of where the story is heading.
  • Research ahead of writing.
  • Stick with it. It’s so easy to get distracted by smaller projects or the housework. The only way it will get finished is if it remains my main priority.

I’m hoping with the experienced I gained from writing the first, I will manage to complete this one in a much shorter time frame. Of course I haven’t allowed for the days where I’ll be pulling my hair out. I mean, honestly, look what’s happened over those twenty months:









If you have any tips for how to approach book number two they’ll be much appreciated.

Catherine x

19 thoughts on “Starting Book Number Two

  1. My advice is just get on with it…I always do. I never prattle on social networks or play games online. Simple really 🙂 Seriously, just keep doing what you’re doing, you seem to have a very organised plan 🙂 x

    • That must be why I never see you there 😉 I’m having a determined year, Mandy! Thanks for popping by.
      Catherine x

  2. Good job and good luck 🙂 I always HAVE to have my outline down to every scene. i have to have every plot point figured out in my head, everything mapped out, etc. I know not everyone can work like this, though. 🙂 This year, I wrote my story for NaNoWriMo then re-wrote it, and it gave me pretty good results.

    • Hi Paulina.
      I did this one from scratch and think I could have saved some time if I plotted. I’m not sure I can plot everything, but want to have at least an outline before starting this time.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Catherine x

      • Yeah, that’s a good strategy. I’m not much of a pantser, but I heard it works too. Whatever works for you. 🙂 I enjoyed reading your blog.

  3. I was nodding along with all your points (apart from the Earthquake bit!) so to me it sounds as if your plan is a good one! The only extra bit of advice I have is – try not to ‘faff’ about for too long before starting. It’s easy to get deep into research and character profiles but I find if I leave it too long, it takes longer to get back into the writing habit! Good luck! I’m off to read about the Earthquake now …! 🙂 x

    • I’m a good one for faffing! There’s some research I need to do before starting, but I’ll try not to get too involved to the point of distraction.

      Thanks for popping by, Alison. Catherine x

  4. Make sure you enjoy it! LOL I envy those who have everything plotted out from the start – I’m unfortunately not one of those. I comfort myself by saying it gives me and my characters more free rein. But a plan has to be good – but with enough flexibility for letting them off the leash now and again perhaps? 🙂 All the very best with this new one as well as the one with the NWS. Sx

    • Very good point, Sarah! I’m no good at planning the full plot, but I found having a series of bullet points helped. Certainly didn’t stick to all of them!
      Catherine x

  5. I hope to be you next year! – Mean that in a very non-stalkerish way. Still, working on the first one and congratulations, writing a full novel is no easy task. P>S I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way. J.K Rowling took five years of outlining until she even wrote the first word.

    • Ah, that’s a shame. Surely you’ve made it when you gain your first stalker 😉 It is a long task and good luck with completing your first. You’re right about having our own way. I think the main think is remaining determined.
      Catherine x

  6. Good luck, Catherine–it sounds like a great plan. I totally agree with you on the ‘just keep writing’–the most important thing to me is not to lose momentum once you get started. Please keep us posted on your progress, and sending you good vibes! xx

  7. Hi Catherine. Your plan’s a great one. I only have one thing to offer. That is that you don’t give yourself a date deadline. I find that a really good way of making sure I don’t let a story go on forever. If you have an editor/publisher, they WILL give you a deadline you have to meet so it’s as well to get into the habit of meeting a deadline asap. Good luck with your manuscript! Cara

    • Sounds like a good idea, Cara. I’m aiming for a first draft by the end of the year. Thank you for stopping by.
      Catherine x

  8. I think you’re correct to keep it your main priority and to set yourself a certain amount of words per day though that sounds a high amount if you have to work s well. You do don’t you? I’m not the only one am I? *wails*

    • I do work, but only part time, so the days I have off I try and hit that word target. So you’re not the only one, but I think your schedule is far busier than mine so I’m not sure how you manage it. Thanks for stopping by DJ.

      Catherine x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s