I have read many accounts by established authors as to their writing practice, and they seem on the whole to fall into two groups. There are those who make detailed chapter summaries of how the book is going to go, and there are those who, although they know how the story is going to start and finish, work rather more organically (if that’s the right word!), better the story grow itself to a certain extent. The two methods are bound to overlap, of course, for even with the most detailed plan a character may do something the writer never anticipated, and take the story on a slightly (maybe even wildly) different course. A new character may even appear almost out of thin air it may seem, but demanded by the plot. And it was certainly the case with “The Brindavan Chronicle” that the female character I had originally envisaged as the “lead” female eventually had to share the billing with someone else.
One of the problems of the “organic” approach, which tends to be my own, is that the book can sometimes grow into a size that you never anticipated, and you end up with a tome the size of “War and Peace”! I mentioned this to someone whose self-publishing workshop I attended. I was concerned that no-one was going to buy a 700-page book from a completely unknown author. He suggested dividing the book into more manageable proportions, and thereafter I re-organised the book into three parts.
However, when I was preparing the mss to send to a professional editor, I realised that the ending of vols 1 & 2 didn’t end satisfactorily. It’s a bit like making sure a chapter ends on a note that makes the reader want to read on. There has to be a hook at the end of the volume which encourages the reader to buy the next one.
So I went through the mss carefully, and decided that there was only one suitable point at which to end the story and leave a hook dangling to entice the reader to dash out and buy vol.2. Thus, I finished with two volumes instead of the original three.