Some of the books I write come out full form: Tuskers; The Last Fedora; The Manic Pixie Dream Girl Murders; Led to the Slaughter; Death of an Immortal; Rule of Vampire, and back in the day, Snowcastles.
Other books I have to fiddle with to make work. Change things, move chapters, and so on: The Dead Spend No Gold; Blood of Gold; Tuskers II; Icetowers.
And a few books I have a horrible time with: Faerylander; Star Axe; Deviltree; Sometimes a Dragon.
Interestingly, the books I have a horrible time with are some of my favorite stories -- the ones I had the highest hopes for.
Anyway, I'm beginning to think that I can't just start writing a book anymore without a little more planning. Lately, I've had about a 50% success rate with that. The Last Fedora and The Manic Pixie Dream Girl Murders came easy, but Tuskers III and Gargoyle Dreams have been harder.
I've tried outlining, but if it isn't clear in my head, it doesn't matter how I write it down, or make it sequential. I need to retain the whole story somehow.
I was watching a documentary on the guy who directed Drive, and it showed how he had index cards tacked to a wall, I'm assuming with the scenes.
So I've gotten some large sticky notes, pink and blue, and I'm going to stick them to my table in the order in which I'm hoping to write. Blue for finished chapters, pink for unwritten chapters.
This may not work at all, but I'm desperate to try something.
I always knew this was too easy.
5 days ago