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 🙂

 

 

Advertisements

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

Short Story Plan

Ok, been a busy week at work and home but I wanted to put this plan out there. I ended up breaking my original plan down to a 10th its size. I will attempt to use it to start writing next week and although I may not do this day by day I will try to write the word count on the days I do write. I will post a diary for how this goes. If I did manage to do it each day it would take 10 days but I don’t know that I can fit that in. I am thinking that every every second or third day will be more likely. We’ll see.

The Plan

Beat Beat Beat Daily Word Count
Opening Image:50 Theme Stated:50 Set-up:400 500
Catalyst:100 Debate:400 500
Debate:200 Break into Two:50 B Story:250 500
Fun and Games:500 500
Fun and Games:500 500
Fun and Games:200 Midpoint:50 Bad Guys Close In:250 500
Bad Guys Close In:200 All is Lost:50 Dark Night of the Soul:250 500
Dark Night of the Soul:200 Break Into Three:50 Finale:250 500
Finale:500 500
Finale:450 Final Image:50 500

Good luck and good night 🙂

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 🙂