Prep One

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Getting Started for NaNoWriMo. Come to the first prep session of 2010 where we'll talk about getting ideas, getting started, and other useful things.

Plot is what the characters do with the situation they are in. It's the logical sequence of events that grow from an initial incident that alters the status quo of the characters. To have a plot you need characters. You also need conflict.

Write Scenes Don't write an essay, write a scene, where a character arrives with a purpose and does something, often interacting with other characters and the environment in interesting way that increase conflict. Try to plan scenes ahead. Whose POV should the scene be in? What type of scene? If dialogue, what THAD will you use? What are the characters' agendas? What is the purpose of the scene? Scenes:

  • 1. In a scene, characters do and say things in real time.
  • 2. Scenes have beginnings, middles and ends. Note, the end leaves something unfinished so the reader wants to keep reading.
  • 3. Scenes have a purpose. Really good ones have multiple purposes.
  • 4. Scenes move the story along. Can think of a scene as a step up the staircase of the story.
  • Establish a fact. Challenge it. Establish more facts.
  • Problem-solution-next problem.
  • 1) Identify and SHOW (not tell) problem
  • 2) Have the character realize he has a problem (even if he's not ready to fix it.)
  • 3) Show a catalyst for change
  • 4) Show solution and/or developing the resources to solve the problem
  • 5) Show success or failure and show conclusion or next problem.

Writing Paragraphs Exercise (from: The Secrets of Writing: Episode #17

  • 1) Write down five sentences about a character.
  • 2) Write a paragraph based on each sentence. (At least three sentences.)
  • 3) Write a reaction to each of the paragraphs.
  • 4) Add to each that it's not going to happen because... (At least two sentences.)
  • 5) Connect the dots. Look for links in the paragraphs.


We'll discuss this and more at the prep session. Bring your ideas, your characters, pen and paper, or computer. Let's get started!