Whenever I write anything under 20,000 words, I generally try to plot a decent outline beforehand. In the case of Alter Ego Academy (AEA), I wrote the prologue first to get an idea of the look and feel of the rest of the book.
Then I wrote each chapter with a summary.
When I do an outline, I break up short summaries by chapter, essentially writing the whole book in 3,000 words or less. It’s pretty much the same as writing a short story, but it helps me plot out the entire story in a fraction of the time it takes to write the real deal.
Plotting helps me create more intricately woven plot lines and develop multiple arcs within a given body of work. It also helps me in another major sense, in that it allows me to estimate the projected length of the book itself. For the outline, I have plotted 21 chapters, plus a prologue and an epilogue. My average chapter length is about 1,000 words, so that would set the projected length at about 23,000 words.
However, depending on some dips and unnecessary chapter deletions / mergers, I’d estimate the total length to be somewhere between 18,000 – 20,000. Still within the Novella range. This will be the first novella I’ve produced in a while and by my estimates, it should be ready for editing sometime late December.
I’ve written superhero fiction before, but this will technically be the longest piece yet and the perfect warmup for my continuation of Starlight Flame.