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Nov 26, 2012

Help! I'm Just Starting #NaNoWriMo! (Emergency Tip Day 3)

"The Witcher" by A.Sapkowski


For those of you on the Gonzo NaNoWriMo, here's Day Three.

Day Three: Outline Your Novel. 

You outline your novel quickly the same way you outline your novel slowly: One step at a time. Use index cards or sticky-notes to brainstorm plot points you'd like to include, play with them, and expand each beat in your Beat Sheet until the outlines starts to fill out.

Example:

Yesterday, I worked on characters for my September Knight story. I need this story blocked out before I can proceed on my other book October Knight (which has some recurring characters and occurs the next month). I don't necessarily need to write out the whole story, but I do need to have a solid outline, to make sure the two books are compatible.

I know this book will have a mystery. I know it will have a romance... but if I want Clare to also have a romance in October Knight (uh oh, these books were supposed to be self-contained!) I have to make it a "happy ending for now" romance, knowing it won't be her "real" true love. That's going to be...tricky.

So maybe I will make another relationship more important in this book: a friendship. The female equivalence of a "bromance" or buddy cop movie. How about a fairy god-sister?

I already had the story broken down into four acts. I knew there would be three chapters in each act, and at least three scenes in each chapter. That was the structure I needed to fill with plot. I jotted down plot points and characters that needed to be introduced in Act One:

Plot Point: A corpse is discovered. The cause of death is mysterious in some way.
Plot Point: The September Key glows when Clare registers for school. It's never done that before.
Plot Point: The guidance counselor, Mr. Cambiel, asks Clare if she will accept the role of September Knight.

Character Introduction: Jinx (fairy god-sister); Clare's reaction -- resentment, feels Jinx is there to spy on her)
Character Introduction: Zola (ghost friend); Clare's reaction -- curiosity, envies Zola's joy and freedom
Character Introduction: Mysterious Hot Guy #1; Clare's reaction -- too shy to act on her attraction, kicks herself
Character Introduction:  Mysterious Hot Guy #2; Clare's reaction  -- too shy to act on her attraction, kicks herself

I'm also using a couple of sneaky tricks. I have a Love Triangle and also a Friendship Triangle. Clare will have to choose between two hot guys, but that won't be completely resolved here. More importantly, she has to chose between two friends, Zola and Jinx. Although these are not a sexual or romantic relationships, the principle is exactly the same, plot wise, as a love triangle. Both friends must offer something that is attractive to Clare, making her decision difficult.

I'll be using the Rule of Three to help out in Act Two. (She tries out for Theater, Cheerleading and Soccer), which will help me structure the second and third act.Once I have the major characters and initiating events in motion, the events for the final act will flow into a climax and conclusion. Especially since I already know the ending, thanks to the beat sheet.

Here's some other steps to do on Day Three:


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