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Nov 16, 2012

Sticking to the Plan

You know how you give yourself excellent advice and then ignore it?

In other news, hows your NaNoWriMo novel going? Because, yeah, mine is whacked. I've written 10,000 words (two chapters) but have come up against the fact that I've ignored my own Outline-First plan and jumped into the writing too quickly. I was having so much fun with the story that I became carried away and rushed ahead blindly. But of course, then I slammed into a wall.

So sad, Tara. So sad.

The answer? More brainstorming of course!

Actually, it's not surprising I'm having trouble, because what's tripping me up is the mystery subplot. In keeping with the advice from the How To Write Mystery books I've been reading, I wrote my villain's plot first: how the murderer committed the crime and covered it up, etc.

However, I've had a few problems:

1.) My Bad Guy backstory wasn't sufficiently detailed. I sketched it vaguely, leaving too many details to fall into place on their own. Guess what? They didn't. I need to figure them out.

2.) I haven't taken my Bad Guy seriously enough. The Bad Guy has to be cunning and clever and driving the plot forward almost as much as the hero.

3.) My outline introduced my mystery plot too late and ends it too early. Since the primary genre of my book is fantasy, I will introduce/conclude the mystery later/earlier respectively than in a pure Mystery novel. But I left only the middle of the novel for the mystery plot.

I have Plot Bunching. That's what occurs when plot bunches like wrinkled socks, with too much in one spot and bare ankles elsewhere. Bare ankles always make a novel look awkward!

I have some tough choices to make. Do I pare down much of my Act I plot lines, including the characters who are introduced, or do I pare down the mystery plot? It would be easier to do the latter, but I feel it would be the cheap way out... also my stand-alone book might turn into a trilogy.

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