CV4 From Start to Finish – Part I – Preparation

Hi, everyone! This post will begin a new series here at on the blog–since I’m about to start writing the fourth book in the Chicagoland Vampires series (tentatively titled HARD BITTEN), I thought I’d track the steps in the writing/publishing process to give everyone a sense of how the novel moves from start to finish.

First things first–here’s an estimate of the calendar for the process (assuming a publication date in July 2011, which is just a guess):
  • April 2010 – May 2010: Brainstorming and outlining*
  • June 2010 – October 1, 2010: Write 100,000-word CV4 manuscript*
  • November 2010 through April 2011: Edit CV4 manuscript**
  • April 2011 – July 2011: Online marketing and blogging in preparation for CV4 release.***
  • July 2011 – Estimated CV4 release date. Celebrate!***
* – Also while editing HEXBOUND (DE2) in preparation for its January 2011 release.
** – Also while drafting DE3
*** – Maybe also while drafting CV5? (if Penguin picks it up)
As the calendar indicates, I’m currently in the brainstorming/outlining stage, thinking about what’s happened in the CV series so far (romantically, politically and supernaturally) and making the final decisions for the major romantic/political/supernatural plots in CV4.
I use a letter-sized notebook for this part of the process (either by Whitelines or Mnemosyne), and my notes are about halfway on the scale between (1) organized outline and (5) random brainstorms. I’ve included some images below.
NOTE – The images don’t contain any spoilers for CV3 or CV4, but the second does contain some SOME GIRLS BITE spoilers, so bypass that one if you haven’t yet read it.
I might draft out a flowchart of events to date:
Or prep a bulleted list of scenes I’d like to include in the final manuscript:
You can also see an initial timeline for CV3 in the image above–although there isn’t any content in it yet. It only identifies stages–from “Chaos” (i.e., identifying the problem) to “Resolution.”
I don’t do a complete outline at this stage. That will happen next, and I’ll use a word processing program for that…but I’ll save those details for Start to Finish Part II.
Hope this is informative!

8 thoughts on “CV4 From Start to Finish – Part I – Preparation

  • This is awesome , thanks so much for giving us a sneak inside in how you work and the outlines about the planning/writing procedure!

    I'm a huge fan of the CV series (obviously..) and I will soon have a look Firespell as well. I'm sure it will be as awesome;)

    *sigh* I'm counting the day until Twice Bitten will finally be released! July seems so long!

  • wow very infomative –thanks for showing what it takes to get a novel done.

  • Thanks Chloe. Looking forward to reading these posts.

    All of my favourite series to read seem to come from authors who plan them out first. I think it makes such a difference. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks Chloe it's so exciting to get that peek at how you're giving birth to another CV book! July 2011? Is that final? It's going to be sooo hard waiting for a full year between Twice Bitten and Hard Bitten!And "can't you make them a little longer Mr Cadbury"?500 pages? πŸ˜› Should we write to Penguin to make sure we get a CV5? (6? 7? 8?…)

  • I am new to CV books, But I love them and hope there are many more to come, I also like that you are sharing the process you go thru with your books.
    thanks Linda Null

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