For most of the time I've been writing, I've been winging it. Most of my short stories and my attempts at novels have involved me sitting down and banging away at the keyboard with only a few scenes and a vague idea of where the story is going. Fine for short stories (Though I have outlined a few when I pitch for an anthology), no so fine for novels.
One thing that writing both Outcast ops novels is that I need an outline of some sort for a novel. Now these outlines aren't hard and fast -- both African Firestorm and Red Ice have changes from the outline to the first draft, but for the most part, they follow the outline that Rick Chesler and I created.
So, I'm taking that same concept to The Assassin Prince. I am writing a chapter by chapter breakdown of the action in the chapter. I have a few names, some idea of the world-building I need to do, and how the action is going to happen. At this stage, if I come up with a subplot several chapters in, like I did the The Assassin Prince, I can go back in the outline, add a sentence or two in a previous chapter and continue on, adding the subplot when I need to.
I have the first eight-plus chapters plotted and it's going along pretty good. I haven't determined a lot of the background or the details, but right now, it's getting the plot down on paper. Once the plot is down, I can start looking at the details and decide on what to go with for the universe's flavor. I have no idea how long it's going to be -- it will depend on how the story unfolds.
If you want to read African Firestorm, it's on Amazon and is part of the Kindle Direct program. African Firestorm on Amazon! For those in the UK, click here!