Pre-NaNo Workshop Oct 18
- Date: October 18 (Saturday)
- Time: 2-4 pm
- Where: Panera Bread
- Who is organizing: Katherine
1:15 PM - Eat lunch/save space
corner to the left of the door
2:00 PM - Event begins
For this workshop, we plan to have group activities with different options available (at different tables). People can move between tables or an entire table can shift from one option to another. Our tentative plan is:
- Option 1: Website information--sign-up for Nano,
examine website, Jabber chat example, web resources --
bring your laptop if you're interested in this option
(although we'll have one or two available.)
- Option 2a: Plot development for those who don't
have their plot started. (Spend 20 minutes or so on the exercise
below.) Then summarize your plot in two lines & pass around looking for
- Exercise in Plot development
1. Create a character.
2. Give this character a problem to deal with.
3. Imagine at least three different ways this particular character might possibly deal with this particular problem.
4. Pick one (or more) of these options, and imagine at least three different ways it
- wouldn't work, and
- would make the character's situation worse.
5. Continue (with other characters as well.)
- Option 2b: Plot development for those who have their
plot started, but want to focus on what else can go wrong
for their characters.
Exercise 1 - big scenes: Start listing out the ten major
scenes that will occur in your story. Share brief descriptions.
Exercise 2 - Spend 10 minutes imagining things that could go
more and more wrong in your novel.
Pick your favorite one, write it (along with a two
line plot summary) on an index card, and pass it around looking
for plot twists.
Exercise 3: A great source of difficulty for your characters
is when their personal drives are at odds with the central
problem in the story. A
man whose highest ambition in life is to live a quiet life and raise
a family is going to be torn if he is drafted into an army in the
middle of a civil war. Thing of how a char (even a new char) could
be at odds with the central problem of your story.
- Option 3: Setting: Work on describing your opening
location, or a key scene. Bring in more senses.
Exercise 1 - Describe a place or a person by mixing two or more
smells, or sounds, or other senses. (Like a person who smells
of motor oil and Dial soap.)
Exercise 2 - Describe an object, place, person or idea by
using one sense to suggest another. What color in the silence
in your bedroom? What is the shape of your grandmother's laughter?
Exercise 3 - Using an omniscient point of view, describe something
that no char in your story could possibly know. (Like describe what
the rock feels likes it breaks the window in your hero's home.)
Exercise 4 - Write a two line description on an index card.
Pass it around, with the first person adding in smell, the second
sound, the third touch, the fourth taste, (if more people--start with
- Option 4a: Chars-- Discuss different long character fill-in
sheets--how much do
people like doing those? Maybe take one, and have people fill it in as
someone reads each item. (Can stop after 10 minutes or so.)
- Option 4b: Chars -- Describe your chars physically, Write lines where
they SHOW some aspect, rather than just telling about it. (Show a broken
arm, or arthritis, or a limp.) Maybe pass these around and have people
add items to them.
- Option 4c: Chars -- Write what your char's main goal is--then
pass around an index card and have other people write things that can stop
the character from achieving his/her goal.
- Option 4d: Chars: Place in a situation-what would X do?
Examples could include
a) someone gave them a kitten to take care of for a week.
b) they have $50 to buy groceries - what do they get
c) list their biggest fears
d) What is your char most proud of?
- Option 5: 10 big scenes: Start listing out the ten major
scenes that will occur in your story. (Part of plot)