I was able to do some NaNoWriMo preparations last night and I have to say I’m very excited to write this story. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this excited about a novel length story idea before. I love this feeling. Is it Nov 1st yet?
What has really helped my planning is a link yesterday I found via Urban Fantasy Land. The link is to Jim Butcher’s LiveJournal, which has a series of posts about how to plan a novel. There’s some great stuff there regarding character creation, the “story question”, and other great information. What I found most useful is the Story Arc. Let me just quote the whole thing here (but I want you to check out the entire post too):
“Get a BIG piece of paper. Draw a big curving arch on it. At the LEFT side of
the arch, write a brief phrase about the opening scene. At the RIGHT side,
write a brief phrase describing the climax of the book. That’s your pot of
gold at the end of the rainbow.
At the TOP of the arch, write down your BIG MIDDLE, or whatever event it is
that starts the dominoes to falling.
Then make a bunch of tick marks along the way and fill in any scenes that you
have in mind that you know you want to do. Once you’ve done that, add in some
more tick marks in between, and add in phrases describing scenes that lead
your character from one established tick mark to the next, in a logical
I tried this last night. I think it’s a brilliant idea. In a very visual way I can see where my story starts, where things start happening, and where it ends. Now I can fill in all the spaces in between. I really think this is going to allow me to have a better product at the end of NaNoWriMo than I did last year. Maybe I won’t get so lost this time.
9 thoughts on “Last Minute NaNoWriMo Planning”
Thanks for posting this! I found it useful too 🙂
I’m thinking about NaNoWriMo…just a bit worried about it disturbing my college work :s
Hey! I was looking at blogs and saw some people mentioning NaNoWriMo. That’s a neat idea to do, I think I might try it! I’ll be participating as well, so good luck in finishing! You have a neat blog 🙂
Ok, forget it, I’m going to join you in the NaNoWriMo. I suppose that if I put my college work first then the worst case scenario is losing. *Shudders* Happy writing! Only one more day of waiting 🙂
That’s a fabulous idea. Linking scenes and having the image of the arc to go by is a great tool. I’ll have to give that a try sometime.
November 1, you’re totally on.
Now that’s some brilliant information. Thanks for sharing, I’m going to have to check out his site!
What a great idea. Visual aids are always so much more meaningful. I’m really looking forward to hearing about this year’s novel. Good luck!
And happy Hallowe’en. I think I might head over to read ‘Frank’ again…..
Thanks for blogging about this wonderful way of writing.
I like this image. When I’m thinking about structure, I think in more of a sense of steps, which lead up to the final scene, but this current book is not like the last one I wrote. The last half of the book takes care of itself… while the beginning, before I started the redraft, was just flat! I’m going to try and visualise a curve to a summit now. I think I’m getting there… sort of.
I hope you got lots of writing done last night. It’s November 2nd here!
Helen – it’s so simple, but a really good idea. I think it’s going to help me immensely.