On Nov. 1, when I disappear for a month from my regular life, I will be writing my first novel. Being that this is new to me, I’ve been thinking about how to get ready for this journey. Luckily, I am not alone – NaNoWriMo has about 60,000 signed up so far.
When I used to write short stories, I would just sit down and let the pen take me where it would. I never planned ahead for character development or plot. Then again, planning tends to be one of my weaker points: I am impulsive, gotta have it now. If I want to write a story, I want to WRITE A STORY. Not take time to plan it first. One of the reasons I think having strict time guidelines will help me – I have nothing to do for the next week but plan.
So far I have a title, character sketches, and a cover design. I also have a plot outline that is basically a list of key scenes. But I have heard buzzes from other writers about plotting chapters and phases and timelines, oh my!
I posed the question this morning to some of my writing buddies – How is everyone else planning for plot? The responses I got were very helpful and definitely give me some food for thought:
EHartshorn @melissaoyler Last year, I outlined with index cards. 1/scene, whose POV, any dialogue or special bits I wanted, whole book. Seemed to work. This year, I will be lucky to have 1 sentence per scene in my outline.
katylinvw @melissaoyler I’m doing a (got the idea=Zette’s book on #nanowrimo boards) I like not having to worry about what happens next? … not all details, just things that i think of that i don’t want to forget – basically just my notes in order of occurance …. i downloaded the book, lots of great info
Thanks for the great tips, everyone! Downloading books, thinking of scene graphs and pondering index card run to the store as we speak!