It's time to plan, ladies and gentlemen.
Don't look at me like I am an English teacher.
I'll show you who I am.
I will seduce you to the side of the panster-plotter.
For the world of the panster-plotter is a dark and scary place.
It is time to take over the world. It is time for NaNoWriMo.
Yes, that is right, time to write, and also time to plot and plan our devious hearts out.
I've got something better for you, yes, you.
NaNoWriMo 2012 will be my third go around.
If I count up the number of times I've started in on a novel and gotten above 50 or even 100 pages, that would be a whole 'nother story.
NaNoWriMo is a great way of getting yourself to finish something.
However, The thing I have come to know from NaNoWriMo and beyond, is that finishing a story and loving it are two different things.
My previous NaNoWriMo goals were to write a draft as a brainstorm. I'd figure out the characters and what story they wanted to tell.
This goal satisfied me since it meant zero outlining. I've always hated outlines.
I don't even like filling in worksheets--I get skittish after having to think about more than a few elements of the story.
But despite that, what I discovered through trial and error is: it's better to plot. It saves a lot of time and angst.
A LOT. And the draft I have is more manageable to revise, because THAT's how authors get books they love to death. And books they will spend months of time with to achieve the "I love you" phase.
This handy-dandy plot set up seems mundane now, but soon I will show you the magic of these
dun dun da da!
When Flashy Plotcards are combined with your imagination, they appear more like this:
1. Colored notecards
2. Scissors if you want mini cards (for an easier fit in pockets and half the trees. Treeees)
3. A pen
Cool. Got it? OK
1. Chop five cards of each color in half (for tree lovers)
2. Pick separate colors to correspond to Scenes, Settings, and Characters.
3. Begin the scribbling! Put a couple words on each card with some ideas for your story.
Start with most important things in each category, and add whatever details you can think of.
When your ideas slow, move on to a new card. Repeat until tapped of evil plots.
4. Look over all your cards on the ground to see what it looks like.
|Click for a bigger view of my 2012 NaNoWriMo Flashy Plotcards|
Clearly I need to develop my settings-- I've written only a few generic words on each Setting card. Meanwhile the other categories, especially characters, are more detailed.
One setting card inspires more characters: the apartment has roommates.
Roommates usually equal conflict, which is an inspiration for more scene cards.
5. Carry the Plotcards with you and let the ideas build.
Periodically flip through the cards, put scenes in order, add new cards, and scribble random ideas.
Let the cards guide you to more cards like in the example above. This is play, not work.
I want as many people as possible to hear of this technique and see if it is for them.
We can all win NaNoWriMo.
We can all be the evil mastermind of our own imaginary universe.
Let the plotting begin.