I got up with my wife, I sat down at the computer when she went to work, and I didn't stop until she got home.
The benefit of this kind of outlining is that you discover a story's flaws before you invest a lot of time writing the first draft, and it's almost impossible to get stuck at a difficult chapter, because you've already done the work to push through those kinds of blocks.
When I decided to take writing seriously, I did a lot of reading and analyzing of the books I liked, and came up with what I thought were pretty sound plotting and structure basics.
For the novels I wrote before selling anything, I didn't outline much. I had a vague idea of the story.
I'm a fan of short horror fiction... in fact, the most memorable horror I've read is of the short variety... but I have a hard time pulling it off myself.
On the other hand, now that I'm not dependent on fiction for my income, I've been writing more short stories despite the fact that there's no real paying market for short horror other than Cemetery Dance.
A couple of weeks after that, Zebra Books phoned with an offer, and I accepted.
In the first year, 1988, I wrote and sold 3 novels.
So, I outlined a horror novel and started writing.
Actually, the 14 novels were written over a period of just over 6 years.
Even the contemporary horror authors who have seriously influenced me are a disparate bunch.
For each book, the time is also broken up.
I spent two months on the first draft, working 8 hours a day, five days a week.
I've been reading horror since I was five years old.
Many of my short stories (all unpublished) were horror, and the novel I'd just finished was horror, too.
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