How did you finish that book part 2
I felt like I didn't include quite all of my process as a beginning writer. Selena Rose was my first fiction novel. And, as I mentioned in the last post about this (read the post here) I started writing the book in the midst of finishing a master's degree.
The First Run
I just started banging away at that draft. It was going great. Until it wasn't. I wrote myself into a little corner and I wasn't seeing a way out of it. I was frustrated and thinking hard about how to fix this. I finally ended up telling my husband, "I think I need to learn a little more about this. I can't see how to get out of here." Thankfully, he supports me in my endeavors. It is really an amazing experience to have someone that replies to me when I tell them my plans, "Yeah, you could do that. Let's see you do it." (I am paraphrasing, but he doesn't mind)
I started devouring all the material that I could find on writing. I found HeartBreathings by accident, and what a happy accident! Sarra Cannon is awesome and I am a happy fan of hers. I also found Jenna Moreci, awesome in her own way. I read so many books. And all this in between assignments and trying to get through a master's program that was not what I expected in a lot of ways. What I found was that a lot of authors use plotting. I was rambling on to my husband about all this and he eventually spoke up to say that it was likely I would be in the middle. I asked what he meant, and he explained that he thought I would do a little free-writing (pantsing) and some plotting. He was completely right in his assessment.
I went back to my manuscript and read through it. Then I started brainstorming where I wanted my story to go. I had all these notes and papers everywhere. It was a mess and I wish I had taken pictures of it. By the end of it though, I had an outline for my book. Once that outline was guiding me, the writing went like a dream. I got it written, did edits, and sent that manuscript out into the world.
Into the Now
Now I have book 2 plotted and in progress. It went so much easier as I wasn't struggling to figure out where to take the next chapter. Or what to do in this chapter. For me, plantsing is the way to go. Perhaps in the future, I will be a full-on plotter. For now, I have a sentence or two about what characters need to have what experience in a particular chapter.
Hopefully this helped in some small way.