Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Nano update

NaNoWriMo 2008. 11 days to go. Less than that if I'm going to get up just after midnight on the 1st.

My plan is nowhere near as detailed as I would have liked, but I have a reasonable idea of what is going to happen, I have three significant protagonists and a couple of minor characters in pencil. I followed the instructions I mentioned in my previous post and managed to get some interesting things out of that. I have even had an ending jump me in a dark alley when I really hadn't seen it coming.

In the "Procrastination Station" on the nano home page today there was a link to a forum post entitled "Cumulative Wisdom from 7 (successful) Nanowrimos, or I must've learned something from the last ~350,000 words!". It was a great post, even if my experience differs with respect to the desirability of planning. What I loved was the plot breakdown, broken into sections of specified word length to fill up a November. I'm repeating it here because I think it is so great:
  1. 5,000 words: Teaser and exposition. Introduce the protagonist and why they are as they are.

  2. 2,000 words: Catalyst event. Introduce the second protagonist.

  3. 9,000 words: Exploration of the story world; new characters and nuggets of information. Things are still going well, but introduce the villain(s).

  4. 18,000 words: Things fall apart! The story becomes bigger than the characters. Things happen, they get saved, things get worse, repeat, repeat, repeat.

  5. 6,000 words: Reveal bigger quest.

  6. 6,000 words: Challenges are defeated. Things are learned. Characters change.

  7. 6,000 words: Resolve any leftover issues. Epilogue
(Credit to moonpook).

I'm going to incorporate that into my plan. Did I say before I think this is great?

Right now I'm off to plan my writing schedule. I have at least a couple of days each week where I will get little or no writing done, so if I can plan around those days by getting more done on other days then I will not fall behind. If anything can be gained from my last two years, falling behind is fatal!