I definitely write a summary. Whenever I come up with a plot point, or a way to work something out, or bits of dialogue, I try to write it down as soon as possible. It's very frustrating to me to be sitting there with a blank page and know that I came up with something that I really liked and now I can't remember it. I forget things like that a lot more easily when I'm stressed out, and I'm pretty much always stressed out.
surreul had some questions: I just recently read the City of Bones (and loved it) and my guess is that you don't intent to return to that world. But I was wondering, when you were writing it, if you had thoughts on how the lives of Elen and Khat would turn out and if you had any other idea or plans for the krismen or even that world in general. Would love to hear it.
I was also blown away by the original world building, not because I didn't expect it from you but because you've also built so many other original and fascinating worlds. I was wondering what is it that motivates you to keep creating new worlds instead of sticking to one universe the way some other authors do.
Thank you, glad you enjoyed it! I did plan a sequel to City of Bones, and actually did offer it as a proposal to Tor, along with a proposal and the first few chapters of what later turned into The Death of the Necromancer. They turned down The Death of the Necromancer but did make a not very enthusiastic offer on the Bones sequel. But it took so long to hear back from them, that by that time I'd written a big chunk of Necromancer, and I didn't want to drop it. So we offered it to Avon instead who was very enthusiastic about it, and I dropped the idea for a City of Bones sequel.
The plot was that Elen would come to the city where Khat and Sagai were living, and make them a very good offer to come along on an expedition to find the exact center of the Waste, which was where they thought the original magical event happened that caused all the destruction. They were going to go, and find lots of strange things, and take refuge with Khat's relatives among the krismen at one point. But that's about all I remember of it. I've looked for the actual proposal, but it was lost in computer transitions long ago and I can't access the disks it was backed up on. Hopefully, I have it printed out somewhere and I'll rediscover it at some point. But there were never more than a couple of pages of it written, and that was mostly notes.
As to motivation, I just really like creating new worlds. And while the ones that are based on historical time periods (like the Ile-Rien books) are fun, creating weird worlds with strange stuff is much more fun for me. And I like pushing my creativity to try to come with even stranger stuff, which is why I really love writing The Cloud Roads books.
I think this is one of the reasons why I've never felt much urge to write an urban fantasy, even though I'm a big Buffy fan and I love mysteries with supernatural elements. A setting that was based on the modern world, any part of the modern world, would just not be that much fun for me. And like I said the other day, if you're not having fun, there's no point in writing it.
(A selfish note, I have City of Bones available as an ebook reprint from Amazon Kindle US, Amazon Kindle UK, and Barnes and Noble Nookbook, and if anyone hasn't read it already and is interested in it, purchasing it there will help defray the large amount of money I had to spend on doctor's appointments and stuff for my achey knees this week. Or The Element of Fire, which is available in those same places. Oh, and the Black Gate Blog recently did a very nice review of City of Bones.)
Still taking writing questions on this post.