It is November. A month of holiday lead-up, Halloween (and quite possibly autumn) are over, and the writing sprints of NaNoWriMo begin. As someone who completed two novels this year, the idea of writing 50,000 words again exhausts me. Therefore, I’m playing my own game: #NaNoPlotMo, or National Novel Plotting Month.
The goal for me on the next project, an epic I’ve dubbed Undead Princes is twofold: to write the fully aesthetic trilogy of my dreams AND finally learn what my process is. I wanted to start by jumping in on the collective momentum and drive that is NaNoWriMo. The targets are a little more obtuse, however. There’s no word count. The goal is an outline to add words to later
The Project Plan
Nov. 1 through Nov. 8
Outcome: A long document of all desired scenes
How to achieve: In conjunction with the corkboard, create a document that is all the scenes of the novel. Order does not matter. Detail work also doesn’t matter. As my Swedish violin teacher said, “Perfection is not your friend.” It’s a wish list document.
Nov. 9 through Nov. 15
Outcome: Finding a plot structure for the book
How to achieve: Dig up a bunch of articles on classical plot structures, or even some new ones (like the W-plot Christopher Ruz told me about). Look up examples of works and their plot structures, specifically for things you’d like to use as comparative titles (or comps). This is a learning week.
Nov. 16 through Nov. 22
Outcome: A revised document in which the scenes from Week 1 fit into the plot structure chosen in Week 2
This week is work. Deep work. It’s trying to retrofit the cinematic images in your head. Because information is not the story. Scene ideas are not the story. Creature a skeleton which will serve as the guide for the proper drafting.
Nov. 23 through Nov. 30
Outcome: Create the 2-page synopsis
This week is also more work. I’ve always found myself struggling with synopsis because I write them after the fact and I think it shows. With a combination of scenes I want to include and a structure befitting of an epic, I think I’ll be able to draft the book of disaster necromancers of my heart that isn’t Gideon the Ninth.
Care to join?
Best of luck no matter your goals,