As my manuscript flowed from my brain through my fingers and onto the computer in that first month of May I soon found myself hurtled into the month of June and before long it would be July.
As July 2011 approached I found that during certain moments of the day I would have a flash back shoot into my head about a previous chapter, and decided I needed to make changes to it.
By then I had written thousands of words and scrolling through every page on the screen trying to locate the relevant sentence was a slow and at times very frustrating experience. It was then I knew I needed a writing plan so I could easily keep track, and is a great help to any new writer or even established writer.
Each person should have their own writing plan which is best for them, but the simple method I found that worked for me is as follows.
A single A4 sheet of paper with four rules columns running vertically.
The first column you write the chapter number.
The second column you write the chapter name (If you have one)
The third column should have the page numbers (e.g., 1-15)
The fourth column the number of words in that chapter.
As an example it would look as my plan looked below.
(1) Mary 1-2 (197 words)
(2) Daniel 3-15 (3601 words)
(3) Forbidden Secrets 16-25 (2548 words)
Just high-light each chapter to get the word count. The great thing about keeping this simple structure to your manuscript is that when you get the first editor’s report back and it states. “You need to cut 20,000 words, or it says you need to add more depth in parts of the manuscript,” then just a quick glance at the word count per chapter should shout out to you where changes need to be made.
You will find that over time you will have ended up writing half-a-dozen plans as you have to redraft your manuscript, and it can be quite amusing to compare you final writing plan with the first one.