How I plan my novels
There is a million ways to write a novel, and I can only speak for myself. The way I do it is a path that might lead others to ruin. But for me this is the only way to success. I am a "storyteller". In simple words it means that the leading star in my novels always is the structure and the drama. Not the characters or the mystery.
Like fairytales and short stories often have a stricked structure where the story developes within this structure, I do much of the same with my novels. I have designed the story before I actually know what the plot will be. When I start plotting, the building already stands there, empty - but waiting to be filled with inner walls, stairs, doors carpets and furniture. The characters, the drama and the mystery are my tools to make this house shine for my readers.
I`ll try to explain it so you will understand what I am talking about. Before having an idea to what I want to write, the structure is already there. I know the lenght of the story, how many chapters it will be, where the big twists in the plot will come, and where in the storyline you will find the most frightening scenes. I have made spesific room for a subplot, and know how long that story will be as well.
For example: The first chapter must be shocking, hopefully making the readers wet their pants, while the next one have to introduce the main characters to the readers. The third revials the mystery. And then I propobly have to kickstart the subplot, so the 4th chapter could be the first scene from the subplot. I know that at the 7th chapter I need to have a new frightening scene, so the 5th and the 6th scene should build up the exitement to what is going to happen there. Like this, I have a scetch for each of the 75 chapters that will be full length of the novel. This is what I am talking about when I talk abot the structure in the novel.
I have used this structure in all the three novels that are published, and I am using it in my upcoming novel. "The wolf`s hour" as well. It is all about knowlegde. I have studied for years how the structure should be in a good crime fiction novel, and I have used "The Marshall plan for novel writing", telling me in detail how I should plot a story the readers will find thrilling.
"Not very romantic" some of you might say, and you are right. There is no romance in writing. It is hard work, and it is all about getting the job done. To do that I need a plan. Something that tells me what to do and when to do it.