My first novel was published in January 1998 by BBC Worldwide (ISBN: 0-563-40578-3).
When I heard that the BBC were planning to relaunch the original Doctor Who novels, I submitted an unsolicited proposal. The editor liked it enough to commission it, but requested that I incorporate the Doctor’s new travelling companion, Samantha Jones.
I wrote my original proposal for an 85,000-word novel in August 1996. It doesn’t feature Sam Jones at all – I had to incorporate her subsequently. You can work out for yourself how I managed this.
Compare the proposal to the scene-by-scene breakdown that I used when writing the novel. It’s a combination of physical, scenic and plot detail, with sections of dialogue and gags, plus suggestions for chapter endings. I used it as a guideline when writing, and developed ideas which are not in the outline as I did the writing and rewriting.
You can work out how the outline changed during the writing of the final book. For example, I hacked several thousand words off the opening chapter to kick-start the novel, and introduced a variety of subsidiary characters to make some of the transitions more interesting.
An example of how the book may have changed more substantially is in the revisions blog entry.
In-joke: I chose “Kursaal” as a title from a list of words meaning “place of leisure”. I subsequently discovered that it is also the name of several casinos in Europe, as well as a pier attraction in Southend-on Sea; the “Kursaal Flyer” is a train that runs to the Southend Kursaal, and this is where the one-hit wonder band got their name; so, naturally, I name-check them in the novel.