Southern belle with a story to tell. Refreshing iced tea served after literary punches thrown.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Conquer Nanowrimo and Create Something Special!

Are you in or out?

So you want to write a book?  Join Nanowrimo! 

As for me, I'm in.

And I'm using this month during Nanowrimo to get a head start on my next project, a supernatural thriller, and to jump-starting the novel writing process I'll use my secret weapon~outlining!

Yep, yours truly is a huge fan of outlining.  But I do not just outline the plot, I also outline the characters at the outset.

As I've discussed before, some writers are "pantsers" who fly by the seat of their pants when writing, and you never know where they're going to end up.  It's all writing on-the-fly and spontaneous for them, and while that's cool, it's not for me, as I prefer the structure of the outline.  Plus, I also like to keep manuscript notes which also helps me refer back to earlier scenes and also keeps me from accidentally leaving out important clues or nuances I'll need at the end of my manuscript.

For me, writing with an outline is like going on a road trip with a good, detailed map.  Sure, I know the basic driving directions, but if per se, I decided to drive to Disney World and head due south, I might get lost along the way.  Now that in itself would be an adventure, but goodness knows where I'd end up if I didn't have my map with me.

So if you're like me, you want to plot the right course for your Nanowrimo journey.  And here's how I do it.  I jot down in a composition book (which helps me squeeze in writing time no matter where I'm at) the names of the main characters and I begin to develop them. Where were they born, what are their likes and dislikes, how are they integral to the plot, and what are their goals and desires.  I carefully and painstakingly go through this process before writing the manuscript outline.

For me, doing a deep character analysis makes the whole process much easier.  Once you know who your characters are, it's much easier to write about them in the story world you've created.

Next I outline the entire manuscript and once finished,  break it down further into sub-sections (which become my chapters).  All of this is important, and if done correctly, you can refer to these notes once you're ready to query your manuscript, and it will come in handy for the synopsis you'll have to write.

There you have it!  You know who your characters are, and you know where the journey will take you.  But as with all travels, there are unexpected pleasures and mishaps along the way, but don't give up!  Use your time this month before the holidays to create something beautiful.

Squeeze in some time to write, and jot down some words when you have your morning cup of coffee or during lunch.

Best writing wishes!


inionnmathair said...

Hi Joey. We are new to your blog by way of mutual blogging friend
"4am writer." Soul & Sweet Tea was like mother ringing the dinner bell for us two Southern girls, as Sweet-iced tea is our house wine. We live in the Smoky Mountains, Franklin, NC. Not too far from Atlanta.
We thoroughly enjoyed knocking around your blog, and getting to know you. Your contests looked fun, & we'll keep dropping by to see if we can catch one. And we also enjoyed your post "Conquer Nanowrimo...
Outlining your novel is good advice for any writer and we couldn't agree with you more. We find outlining our books gives us a footing and helps us as authors to really get to know our characters intimately. I like your comparison to the driving with a road map. Once again, enjoyed the posts, and we look forward to reading your future posts. Thx.

Joey Francisco said...

Thank you so much Inionnmathair! I know exactly where you live and sometimes we're known to venture near your neck o' the woods.

It means a lot that you enjoy my blog and I hope that I can bring thoughtful ideas and posts to you. Have a wonderful week.