New Year, New Plans

Big Sigh. Yep NaNoWriMo was a big FAIL. I was sick the week before and after a great start on day one I just couldn’t figure out where I was going. So after spending a week not writing I decided to try to figure out what the problem was and start dealing with that. The short answer, after some soul searching and research, is that I needed a very detailed plan to cope with such a big daily word output.

This then led to the realization that I didn’t know how to do that, at least not in a way that I was happy with, so I started researching. Firstly I came across Rock Your Plot and purchased the ebook and audio book. There is also a great website with further resources. Then I added to what I learned there with a great post on Advance Fiction Writing. Between these two sites I had created a spreadsheet to start filling out scene by scene.

The next road block I faced was when looking at all the scenes/sequences that I needed to sketch out. I turned to Jim Butcher’s series of posts on Live Journal (he writes the series The Dresden Files) for some advice. Might as well go to a professional whose work I love. His posts made a lot of sense but I still needed something more.

Digging deeper I started to read Story Structure Architect. This had 55 dramatic situations to delve into and now I was starting to get my head around how to weave my story and manage subplots.

There is still much reading and work to do but now I have the beginnings of a structure to weave a story around.

Happy Writing 🙂

 

 

NaNoWriMo – Day One

So today it begins. I have been thinking all week that I just couldnt see where I was going to get the time each day to write. Not without something else having to give. I thought I was going to have to face defeat before even starting. Dread for today was all I was feeling and a sense of loss.

Then this morning in bed I said to my partner that today was the day if I was going to do NaNoWriMo but I feared I just couldn’t pull it off. And then I was given the sweetest and scariest gift. The offer was made to put our eldest to bed each night during November and give me that time to write. This is often a few hows of quiet. Now I have no excuse. The nerves have kicked in but I will just have to put that aside and start writing tonight.

Deep Breaths

Good luck fellow writers 🙂

Recovery

Well two weeks after having sleeve surgery I am further behind in my lead up to NaNoWriMo. I did manage to crank out a couple of plans but haven’t gotten my research done and haven’t really settled on a detailed enough outline that will satisfy my tight schedule.

Still it doesn’t start until the end of the week. So I still have a few days to try to get things together. We will see where I am come Nov 1st. I am not hopeful at this point but I haven’t given up yet either. Only time will tell.

Good night and good luck my fellow writers xx

Im taking a writing class ‘NaNoWriMo – Producing 50, 000 words in a month’

 

So after getting ready to try out my short story plan my life took a turn for the busy and I only managed to write on two days and produce approx 300 words per 30 min block. What should have been obvious to me was that I needed to have a tighter plan for the actual story outline, something as detailed as the structure with word count plan. I had planned this for the 50, 000 word story but thought I might be able to manage without this for 5000 words. Ah no. Big fail. Also I never did actually decide when or how I was going to get time to write. Yeah that doesn’t work either.

Ok back to the drawing board. I have 23 days to research and produce a plan for how I am going to tackle NaNoWriMo 2013 with some possibility for success. I have two weeks off work, I am having surgery, not life threatening but it will provide me with time to scope out this problem and provide a workable solution. I think the things I need to tackle are:

  • Time management
  • Story research
  • Detailed daily story points overview

I am going to have to trust that the only way to succeed is to not give up. Its a bit like getting my degree. I did unit after unit over serveral years towards a very specific goal. This time the end goal is becoming a published novelist. Although this is more like external studies where you have a task that you do by yourself outside of the rigid structure of attending classes.

The first unit I am doing is ‘NaNoWriMo – Producing 50, 000 words in a month’. I remember many a unit that I took, especially in the beginning, when I doubted that I could pass it and therefore fail to gain my degree. In the end it was that I never gave up no matter how much I doubted myself. I would just try to look at the task I had in front of me at that moment and get on with it. This is just the same. The doubt is still there. I never feel like I can do something until I have done it. Sometimes I did fail a unit. The only thing to do was go straight back and try again. The second time around I always wondered why I thought this was hard the first time. The road to success for me seems plagued with doubt and some failure but it is a road to success.

So nothing to do but keep trying.

Goodnight and good luck fellow writers 🙂

 

The Outline

I did it. I managed to write my first outline and to scare myself witless in the process. I took everything I have been reading about writing an outline and produced a tight day by day plan. I must confess to stealing from Save the Cat.

Yes this plan is based on how someone might write a screenplay but in my defense I chose to co-opt Save the Cat because it is very precise and following the story arc with a modified word count allowed me to create a tight plan.

The output from this writing exercise is not going to be a book ready for publishing but a bare bones, mashed up, 50,000 words. It can be then be edited into a manuscript to send to someone i.e. agent.

I still need to come up with the final path my story will take and want to add points to write to for each day. Its always easier to get to a finish line if you can see it. In this case there will be  a finish line for each day with a huge payoff at the end.

This task is becoming more daunting rather than less as I plan. My hope is that with sufficient prep I will be excited to get started by Friday November 1st. It should feel like taking a well planned trip, exhilarating and exhausting.

Now for the big reveal. Below is my plan. Ta da.

Goodnight and good luck my fellow writers xx

Date Beat Beat Beat Daily Word Count
Friday, 1 November 2013 Opening Image:500 Theme Stated:500 Set-up:700 1700
Saturday, 2 November 2013 Set-up:1700 1700
Sunday, 3 November 2013 Set-up:1600 1600
Monday, 4 November 2013 Catalyst:1000 Debate:700 1700
Tuesday, 5 November 2013 Debate:1700 1700
Wednesday, 6 November 2013 Debate:1700 1700
Thursday, 7 November 2013 Debate:1700 1700
Friday, 8 November 2013 Debate:200 Break into Two:500 B Story:1000 1700
Saturday, 9 November 2013 B Story:1500 1500
Sunday, 10 November 2013 Fun and Games:1700 1700
Monday, 11 November 2013 Fun and Games:1700 1700
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 Fun and Games:1700 1700
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 Fun and Games:1700 1700
Thursday, 14 November 2013 Fun and Games:1700 1700
Friday, 15 November 2013 Fun and Games:1700 1700
Saturday, 16 November 2013 Fun and Games:1800 1800
Sunday, 17 November 2013 Midpoint:500 Bad Guys Close In:1000 1500
Monday, 18 November 2013 Bad Guys Close In:1700 1700
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 Bad Guys Close In:1800 1800
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 All Is Lost:500 Dark Night of the Soul:1200 1700
Thursday, 21 November 2013 Dark Night of the Soul:1700 1700
Friday, 22 November 2013 Dark Night of the Soul:1600 1600
Saturday, 23 November 2013 Break into Three:500 Finale:1200 1700
Sunday, 24 November 2013 Finale:1700 1700
Monday, 25 November 2013 Finale:1700 1700
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 Finale:1700 1700
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 Finale:1700 1700
Thursday, 28 November 2013 Finale:1700 1700
Friday, 29 November 2013 Finale:1700 1700
Saturday, 30 November 2013 Finale:600 Final Image:500 1100
50000

 

 

 

Outlining for NaNoWriMO

So last night I started to outline my manuscript for NaNoWriMo. I decided to start this process using Google Sites. I have been using Google Sites for a while to write. It means that I have a collection of ideas and reference material that sticks around between my sporadic attempts and avoids the usual data loss that happens when I change my hardware or it dies.

I am still using the Manuscript app on my iPad but I always fear losing data on standalone devices, even though I can backup to Dropbox from within the application, I still have to remember to do that. On Google Sites its just always there.

The first outline question I have asked myself is, how detailed does this outline need to be? At this point I am looking at having a daily plan. I figure that it is better to have a detailed plan and not need it rather than write myself into a corner that I cant think myself out of in the time I have to produce 50, 000 words. This may prevent my turning out a pile of crap that is too much effort to edit into anything after November.

I have started to create a page on the site for each day and am planning to have the direction, plot point etc at the beginning of each page. I figure I can change it on the day if I come up with something better but I will at least have a starting point. I already have the main idea and major plot points written out. I am enjoying looking at the story as a whole and trying to find the most interesting ways to develop certain aspects of it or how to bring out aspects of my characters.

Joy. It is creative joy.

Good luck my fellow writers 🙂

NaNoWriMo

I have signed up for NaNoWriMo this year. Deep breath. I don’t know at this point if this is even realistic. I would love to be able to get a large enough piece of work done so that I can spend time shaping it.

I seem to spend time starting but I don’t even get to a middle or end. Maybe I am not creating enough of an outline to work with. Or maybe this is like uni and without a deadline I dont know how to put pressure on myself to get this first piece done.

Only one way to really find out. Do it.

Good Luck fellow writers 🙂