Kimberly Derting: “The Good Old Days”

Kimberly Derting, author extraordinare behind THE BODY FINDER and DESIRES OF THE DEAD, is guest blogging here today about her writing process, and how it’s changed. Thanks for stopping by (yet again), Kim!


When I first wrote THE BODY FINDER, my plan was simple: Sit down and write.

That was it.  There was no “master plan”. No outlines.  No lengthy descriptions or pie charts or graphs.  It was just me, my laptop, a blatant disregard for personal hygiene, and a whole lotta imagination.

Flash forward to DESIRES OF THE DEAD.  Still, no real plan.  I knew how I wanted it to start, and pretty much how it would end, and some major plot points along the way.  The rest was just…well, created as I went along.

But here’s the thing with sequels: they’re tricky.  Trickier, at least, than stand-alones.  There are rules that have been established in the first book, character traits that must be adhered to, they have ages and birthdays, and most of all, you really can’t just repeat book one all over again.  It needs to be different.  Unique.

Because of all of this, I had to learn force myself to be more organized.  To keep notes.  And to make charts…like this one:

It’s a little crazy, isn’t it?

I used sticky notes for each chapter so I could rearrange them if needed. And I used different colors for different character POVs.  I moved, changed, and rearranged until I was happy with the flow of the story.

So, that fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants attitude I used to embrace…it no longer works for me.  My characters have backstories that I have to keep track of…and favorite cookies…and first kisses…

You should see my notes for book three!

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