This year, I'm going to open it back up, because I have lots of friends that aren't in RWA and I want to write with everybody. I'm also reviewing some of the memes I had last year. These are some that I still have stashed and make me giggle.
No one person has the same skillset or technique when getting their story from brain to paper. So we all have things we can learn too. Every year I participate, I try something different. This round, I've got a basic plot outline for my story. Which is a DAMN MIRACLE for this self-proclaimed pantser. I even made a spreadsheet in Excel, because I love me a good spreadsheet.
It's not pretty or colorful or even formatted well. It's just a basic rundown on everything I need to know, and because it's a spreadsheet, I can move it around.
The things I'm listing for each scene are...
1. Scene Number (Duh)
2. Characters - Who are the players in this scene? This is going to help me make sure people don't pop up out of nowhere.
3. Main Event - What is the big thing that this scene revolves around? Of course other stuff happens, but this is what HAS to go down.
4. Setting - Where is it? This lets me see where my characters are at a glance if I'm coming back to a scene in progress.
5. POV - I'm writing in 3rd person this round, and going back and forth between the hero and heroine. This let me make sure I wasn't spending too much time in any one character's head.
6. Timeline - I used dates here, but I'm thinking of adding specific times of day as well. Either way, knowing when something happens is important, and a step I used to regret not doing as I was drafting.
7. Why It Matters - If I can't come up with why a scene is important to the plot, and is just moving the characters from one setting to another, this is a good way to know it needs cut.
8. Done? - I added this one recently. It's SUPER helpful to know what scenes I've already knocked out and a simple "YES" puts me in the exact spot I need to go to next.
Using these basic headers for an outline, I've been able jump into my words faster than ever before. I'm giving this technique a trial run with my CP for the rest of this month, and I'm pleased with how the prep is paying off for me.
Will my outline hold up until the end? Heck, no. I've already added characters and altered settings in a few spots. But I'm super excited to see how having this info will help me write up a synopsis and blurb when I'm done. That's for December, though. Right now and through November 30th, it's all about the word count.
You can see a few of my basic tips that work for both plotters and pantsers in my "Getting Ready For NaNoWriMo" post from last year. Or you can browse all my National Novel Writing Month goodies by clicking the "NaNoWriMo" and "National Novel Writing Month" tags.
Are you prepping for next month? Anything you're trying for the first time? I'd love to hear about it!