Once upon a time I thought I would eventually find some magic system for writing a book. I'm a girl who loves to organize, and I thought one of these days I would find a method that made my plots work perfectly the first time, my characters fleshed out from page one, and a variety of other ludicrous notions.
But after writing The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series plus 3 other manuscripts I'm hoping will get snapped up one of these days, I've become more comfortable with the idea that there is no perfect novel writing system. I've made peace with the reality that I will always have room to improve.
Sure, I have things that generally work well for me. Like editing the big stuff before focusing on details. But it's impossible to say, I always do my synopsis, then write my first draft from start to finish. Because sometimes I have to make time for character journals. Or edits on other books. So don't waste your time putting together some kind of 1, 2, 3 checklist for novel writing and insist on following it each and every time.
Be open to trying new techniques, and at the end take time to evaluate what worked for you and what didn't.
Last time, on my work-in-progress Playing Kitchen, I tried a Scene Breakdown Spreadsheet. This worked fine for me for, like, 3 chapters. Then the story veered, and while I occasionally glanced at my spreadsheet in hopes of finding guidance for my next scene, I don't think creating an SBS is very time-efficient for me. So I won't do it.
For my current WIP, Lost or Found, I had just read The Story Template by Amy Deardon, and I'm trying a couple new things. Some will work their way into my routine, and others won't.
What about you? Have you discovered something new that works? Something that doesn't?