A: For Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest I was about halfway through the first draft when it became clear to me I needed to utilize a timeline. I stopped writing immediately and opened a new document and then I read from the beginning. I sorted out the days and events I had already done and then kept the document handy for future events. That time I hadn’t made a mistake, but I could have, and it became a real time-saver later.
A: Yes, give yourself a deadline or end goal. You’re going to want to meet it and possibly exceed it. There’s lots of wonderful stories about writers who have finished a book in mere days, or completed massive amounts of prose for the annual National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.) What works for you?
A: Both! Generally speaking, I know enough about my plot and story before I start writing that I have an idea for a beginning and an ending. I might even have a few middle scene parameters. But, how does the start of the book reach my conclusion parameters? It is here that I step back and allow the characters and events to help tell the story. I allow for spontaneity and improvisation because I believe it helps keep the story lively and natural.