Road Map: NaNoWriMo Prep


Eighteen days until November 1 and the excitement is thick in our home. Or, more accurately, I’m so full of excitement that it’s spilling over into every corner of our one room apartment. 😁 I’m grateful for my supportive husband who is pursuing his own passions – he understands the drive that pushes me to spend hours at the keyboard typing away. 

In preparation for NaNoWriMo 2017, I have laid out the road map that will help me get from beginning to end. While I’m sure each person’s method of mapping looks a little different, numbering chapters and dividing them in to sections is how I best prepare for the twists and turns in my story. 

For example, I know exactly where the starting action, mid-point, and ending are: Chapter One, Thirteen, and Twenty-Six. The doted lines represent other important major plot points, which are 1/4th and 3/4ths through the story. The dashes around Chapters Four, Ten, Sixteen, and Twenty-Three are where minor but equally valuable plot points take place. 

I develop this road map for three reasons:

  1. Helps control the pacing of the story while I write the first draft. This in turns helps make re-writing easier. 
  2. When I know where I need the story to go, I can create scenes that make the journey more enjoyable and not bog down the middle of the trip (as I have been known to do in past attempts at novel writing).
  3. And if along the way I decide to do some unplanned sight-seeing (I am a recovering ‘panster’), I can take the little side trip without worry because I have a map to get me back on track!

So as I continue to plot and plan, I’ll fill in the major plot points/scenes first and then go on to connect the dots with scenes that will build the story and help make it cohesive from beginning to end.

What sort of road map do you lay out before you begin writing? If you don’t plan, how do you determine where you will start and stop?

– Melinda

NaNoWriMo Prep – Day 9!

The last day of NaNoWriMo Prep for 2016 is upon us. Buried in a back booth, delicious dinner over and fresh cup of coffee at hand, I plan on scribbling away until closing time. Cue the Traveler’s Notebook.

img_25441

But for as much as I plan on utilizing the next few hours for note taking, the most important prep work I’ll do today is the last thing I’ll do today: sleep.

Gone are the days of working a full shift on four hours of sleep. Dead is the romantic notion of burning the midnight oil for the sake of my writing passion. Dark are the bags under my eyes if I don’t hit the covers by 9:30p.m. If I don’t want to have to deal with a manuscript choke full of plot holes, unfinished thoughts, and run-on sentences come December 1, I’m going to have to protect my sleep time just as fiercely as I will my writing time.

Because while my imagination can light up at any time, my brain depends on sleep to think logically. And logic is a vital part of writing an entire novel in a month. (Well, reckless abandon in terms of the clock along with copious amounts of coffee and candy might work for some writers, but I have no desire to return to my early 20s.) 🙂

So I’ll sleep tonight, and tomorrow at 5:00a.m. I’ll be up to begin the maddening, thrilling, fulfilling adventure of writing a novel in a month. Fellow writers, I hope you’ll join in, even if it’s just spending one evening with pen in hand!

Good luck to any participating in NaNoWriMo 2016!

– Melinda

 

 

NaNoWriMo Prep – Day 1 of 9

Soon writers from all over the world will take up their pens (or keyboards) and attempt to write a novel in exactly one month. The measure of success is 50,000 words. That is, according to the fine folks at NaNoWriMo.org, 1,667 words each day from November 1 to November 30. That’s a lot of words. And unless you thrive on being a Pantser (i.e. flying by the seat of your pants), that means you need to prepare.

My preparation time is roughly a week before November 1, and this year I am utilizing a new tool to keep my notes together: the Traveler’s Notebook.  Appropriately named, eh? 🙂

img_2467

I only learned about the Traveler’s Notebook within the last month, but am I excited! This beautiful purple suede notebook will be where I keep the basics jotted down, make note of my progress, and be able to scratch out any ideas I may have when I don’t have access to my computer. And of course it will be right there for easy reference while I am writing.

So today, on this first day of NaNoWriMo prep, I’m sketching out my main characters and their motivations. Tomorrow, plotting.

What do you do to prepare for #NaNoWriMo? Have a Traveler’s Notebook? If so, what do you like best about them?

– Melinda

Save