So I'll keep reading same make those few final final tweaks, and turn my attention to Coming Together, the final book in my Ava and Claire series.
It would be so much easier if I could make an outline and write in order, but that's not how my brain works. I've fought against it, but we've come to terms, my brain and I. I'll respect how it wants to give me the story, and it will keep giving me stories.
Because I write historical, there is obviously some outlining that can't be avoided; I need to hit certain historical marks or the books won't be taken seriously. So I put the points on the timeline that can't be ignored, and figure out what other things - often smaller or local - will impact my characters, and they go in, as well. Then I can think about the larger points of the story. For this series, I have a triple timeline, going down the page in three columns: one for Ava, one for Claire, and one for unavoidable history.
Once I have those events noted down, I let my mind wander. The book comes to me in snippets, often conversation or locations. I'll write it all down or dictate it, and later I'll try to put these bits in order. Most don't fit, yet. So I have an actual book document and a second document for snippets, which holds all those brain bits. I pull from that when I get stuck and need words.
At my worst, I've had 30k words in the snippet document. The challenge is to use all of them, in one way or another, in the final manuscript. For Coming Closer, I ended up with less than 50 words left in the document, so major win. Not all of them were used - some were rewritten, and some deleted, but all of them were thought about.
The third book will happen now. I know this because when I formatted the ebook for Coming Closer, I put an order link for the final book in the back. I can't do that without putting it up for preorder. If it's on preorder, it exists, I just have to make it happen.
Watch this space.