Planning for November

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201228 words so far Winner!

After loading up my Kindle with dozens of free ebooks on writing, I've been sampling some, and actually reading a few.
"Writing Your Way:" By Julie Smith has some great ideas and three rules "Start it. Put your heart in it; Part with it."
She also suggests rereading 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' by Mark Twain.

This is one of the reasons why I love 'starting' my NaNoWriMo planning early. I have time to go read Mark Twain.

How's your planning going?

50655 words so far Winner!

My planning mostly revolves around scheduling time to write. I do a majority of the housework right now since my wife is somehow pregnant again. (I think I may have had something to do with that...)

As far as reading is concerned, since Banned Books Week always falls at the beginning of October, I always pick up Catcher In The Rye. It's not only my favorite banned book, it's my favorite book! It is the reason I wanted to becoming a writer in the first place. And even though I've read it more than 50 times (possibly more) it still inspires me to tell a new story.

I'm not familiar with Julie Smith - why is it she likes Huck Finn in regards to writing?



10170 words so far

Twain is one of my heroes, though I love his shorts more than his novels.

I really ought to pick up something for Banned Book Week before it's over, though, since I'm writing a fairy tale, Goose Girl by Shannon Hale was probably a pretty good pick!

I just need to buckle down and follow my oldest rule, which is to pre-write a little bit about my characters, mostly who they are and what they look like, and then I might actually *gasp* throw together an outline, which is something I DON'T often do, and it really bit me in the butt in 2010.

Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth. Rumi

Average Ashley

Hi, my planning isn't going so well. I've been searching everywhere on how to plot but I still can't find what I want to write about, lol. I'm really new to the site as well and only made an account today. It's taken me two years to decide to finally join Nanowrimo. Could we be writing buddies? :) You sound really experienced and I think I could learn a lot from you. I don't write nearly as much as I should. I'm just too good at procastinating haha.

50564 words so far Winner!

Average Ashley wrote:
Hi, my planning isn't going so well. I've been searching everywhere on how to plot but I still can't find what I want to write about, lol. I'm really new to the site as well and only made an account today. It's taken me two years to decide to finally join Nanowrimo. Could we be writing buddies? :) You sound really experienced and I think I could learn a lot from you. I don't write nearly as much as I should. I'm just too good at procastinating haha.

Hi, Ashley,
I have definitely learned a lot from Katherine over the years. She is a very dedicated, disciplined and talented writer and editor.

I would also encourage you to come out to one of our three preparatory workshops where there will be a lot more folks who are in shoes very similar to yours. Today (6 October, Saturday, 1-3 pm, Nichols Library, Naperville) is the one I am leading on how to connect with your readers to achieve a better emotional response. The pot-luck lunch kick-off party (27 October) will also present an opportunity to chat with other writers in the region (though that will be just three days before the start of NaNoWriMo).


201228 words so far Winner!

I find it useful to start laying out day-by-day what is happening in my novel. It's amazing how just starting to sketch out what will happen on a Monday morning for the chars can lead to lunch, then the afternoon, pretty soon I have 3-4 scenes figured out without having to work really hard at it. Of course, plotting the whole book takes a lot of scenes, so that's where the work comes in, but it can be fun.

Anything and everything is fuel during October. I had a weird dream last night where a flock of little girls in pinafore dresses appeared unexpectedly. I made them part of the group that moves into the empty apartment downstairs from my MC. Haven't decided yet what they're going to break when the MC's back is turned, but that can wait until November. Just getting them in the door can lead to all sorts of fun times!

33590 words so far

I'm trying my hand at a fantasy story, thinking that I would free me from a lot of research and contraints of the real world. Just this last week I realized my basic premise was going to be pretty boring if I didn't start fleshing out the world it was set in. I got inspiration from a non-fiction, history book. It was a pretty unexpected revelation. It's entitled EMPIRES OF FOOD (Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civiizations) by Evan D.G. Fraser and Andrew Rimas. It begins briefly with the history of food production and transport in the Roman Empire and quickly goes into a more detailed description of the high middle ages. My setting of a land long, long ago and far, far away would be a preindustrial society with a belief in magic. This work will help me make that setting believable and hopefully, engaging.

13340 words so far

For me it's the opposite! I thought I had a good mainstream fic idea, and then it got usurped by a fantasy novel idea that requires world building. Ugh. It was very organic, however, and inspired by my trip to the Art Institute this past weekend. I'm excited about both ideas, but I wish you well on your planning!

54273 words so far Winner!

I suffer from the problem of too many ideas. I don't know which one to write about, and I get depressed when I think of all the things that I could be writing, but am not. This year, I'm struggling between a steampunk story filled with airships, giant birds, forbidden love, and a deadly miasma that covers the land, and a fantasy novel about two teens on a relatively newly colonized planet who, with the aid of their spirit guardians, discover a hidden tribe that their government has been keeping secret for generations, thereby opening a Pandora's Box of conspiracies and complications.

I'm leaning towards the steampunk story, but I still don't have it planned out as well as I would like. Thanks to Tim's (NewMexicoKid) writing exercise, my brain formed a whole new story arc that I could follow: I think I'll follow multiple characters, rather than just one, which is my usual MO and was my initial idea. The problem I'm having now is figuring out how to tie the stories together. Also, how to resolve the overarching conflict of war, if I should resolve it at all.

The fantasy story, though, that one is really intriguing to me simply because of the characters and the world. I'm leery of writing about it because I don't really have a good reason for why the government kept the "wildmen"'s existence a secret, and I don't want it to be too Orwellian. I also don't really have well-formed character motivations. Aside from the main characters, I don't even have well-formed characters.

50564 words so far Winner!

From your brief description, your steampunk story drew more of my interest than your fantasy novel (though that concept also sounds interesting). Tying the stories following multiple characters is a challenge. This is, I think, where pre-planning can be very helpful (I am still doing this for my own novel and am probably behind where you are). I am using XMind and especially relationships between floating topics in XMind to plan out the different threads. One could also use Papel for this. This should let me move the key scenes (XMind floating topics) around and link them through XMind-relationships to keep track of the flow. Details to include in each scene can be represented by children nodes.

Just a thought that might be helpful in your planning.

In terms of your fantasy story, what if the wildmen represent the original ancestors of the people--the original, unblemished stock that the civilization planners want to maintain as pristine as possible as a hedge against another collapse of their civilization?

Alternately, what if the wildmen are not nearly as wild as might be thought but instead represent a private attempt to leapfrog human development (through experimentation and mutation) to achieve the people who will supersede the current humans?

Just a few thoughts...

151179 words so far Winner!

I love Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. If you get one writing guide, this is definitely at the top list of contenders. He has a more structured approach but he understands how bad pantsers are about creating plot. He's also got a special series of NaNoWriMo posts and how to approach NaNo without becoming totally lost or writing a pile of big ol' mush.

52005 words so far Winner!

Thanks to the suggestion of checking out the 7 point story structure, I've been able to quickly nail down the main events in my novel, and also see that my pacing is very weak. (I need some sub-plots like whoa. XD) But, seeing it all laid out in a mind map has made it a lot easier to see what areas I need to think through more in order to get them to the point where I'll be ready to plow through this thing come November. I'm hoping that this loose planing will help me with the issue I had last year. I would get to the end of a scene and then be stuck for upwards of a quarter of an hour trying to figure out what came next. That's a pain when everyone's ready for another word war, but I haven't a clue what I'm writing next!

Since I'm using Scrivener, I'll probably do what I did last year and pre-make my scene files with a little description of what goes where. That was how I managed to fill in the gaps of what was going to happen when. I'd have two big events, and ask myself what needed to happen to get my characters from point A to point B. It also helped me weed out unimportant bits. XD

Figment: Twist, the dive-bombing leopard gecko

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