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I don’t know about you, but when I am writing a book, on my Mac Air, I quickly get the concept down, and then I stop writing and structure the chapters. Within these chapters, I create bullet points as reminders as to what I expect to write about at that part of the story. I choose an arbitrary number of chapters, say twenty, but nothing is set in stone and that can increase or decrease. The book I’m writing now, Drifting Sands, has only twenty-five thousand words written at present, but I’m up to twenty-six chapters.

I then, create a dynamically linked index (a hyperlink to chapter numbers with a short overview of proposed content). This basic structure allows me to move quickly to a particular chapter, to check back on what I’ve already written or, to add chapters in the correct places.

I don’t write my books from start to finish, I dart about writing about what has come to me recently on a subject and sometimes new discoveries will change my storyline (I write science fiction adventure). The linked index permits me to choose which part of the story I want to write about on a particular day without wasting time searching for where my thoughts should go. I can see an overview of the bullet points in the chapters and pick what I want to write about. As I flesh out a bullet point, I remove it from the list.

This reminds me of the way pool is played, if I see a ball over a pocket that’s a dead cert, I might bank it for later and play a ball against the cushion. In the same way, if I see a bullet point, and I know what I am going to write on that subject, I might not pick that and choose a harder subject instead. Unlike pool however, when all the bullet points are potted, the game is not over.

Ken Balneaves also wrote, The Greatest Gift, available at http://amzn.to/QF7RLd (US), http://amzn.to/O12kgX (UK)

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