13 December 2011

NaNoWriMo Follow Up: Taking Stock

Well, I should have written nearly 10,000 words this month if I'm to get to 20k... but I have written *cough* 1,100 *cough*. It's been a mix of recovering from sickness, catching up on housework and gardening, and booking some more things for a big trip we're taking next year. I have been thinking about the novel, just taking a break from writing like a mad woman.

What I have done, which I've never done before, is note down every scene on note cards. Well actually they're a mix of memo cube paper and little rectangles I tore up when I ran out. I've read on several writer blogs that this helps with plotting and structure.

I ended up with 52, which I found pleasing in a geeky sort of way, because that's the same as a deck of cards. It also means that if I write an average of about 1,000 words per scene, and I want to finish with about 80,000 words, that I am well over half-way. I still only have 41,000 words, but there are still quite a few scenes in note form.

What I can do now is lay them out and try to see how they fit into the three act (four part) structure, and see where the main gaps are. I've noted whose POV each scene is in, so I can see if one of the characters is getting too much air time. And when I'm trying to figure out the order of things, I can physically move them around as I ponder without having to cut and paste the actual words.

It also meant finally reading through everything I've done, which I didn't have time to do during NaNo. And I like most of it, which is good :-) My hope is that one day someone else likes it too.

I still have a few key plot elements to uncover (Stephen Kings "fossils") which should help to make up at least half the remaining scenes. I had three new scenes burst into mind (which made up the 1,100) after I'd turned the light out the other night, so I know the spark is still there. It would be so easy to keep resting from it, now that I'm probably past the most 'fun' parts of crafting the book. But I'll persevere and drive myself forward, because I know I can. The fear is that I won't do justice to my idea, that the scenes I've written that I love, and I'm pretty sure are good, will be balanced with mediocrity or worse. Time will tell I suppose... onward!

Do you use any techniques to help plan or chart your novels? What works for you? Will you finish your NaNo novel?

1 comment:

  1. I didn't NaNo this time. I did give myself writing goals each day.

    I use still use a notebook and word docs to help plan my novels. In some instances, I still write ideas out by hand. I was taught a long time ago, that if you write it out, you will remember them.