What would Illidan say to you?

As of this writing, the countdown timer in my sidebar says I have 7 days and 8 hours until NaNo begins, and, well… this is me.

I suspect this first draft will contain lots of passages about what everyone is eating and characters who don’t grow personalities until some time in January. But there’s not a lot I can do about that in 7 days and 8 hours. I need to choose my battles wisely. Whatever prep time I can carve out around Halloween and all the other goings-on over the next week needs to be dedicated to those things that are absolute critical path items.

Okay then. I already have tea, candy, and Tastykakes. So:

  1. Wine
  2. Plot

Well, that’s not so bad. It’s only two.

How about you, fellow writers and wrimos? Are you ready? What last minute preparations are you making?

4 words on the street

  1. I’m hoping for a chance tonight to sit down and download Scrivener and start outlining. Yes, I could outline without it, but I’m in spreadsheets all day, and I need, ok want, an inspirational new tool. This will force me think about plot directions and the twists and turns for which Ron Howard will beg me for the chance to direct the film version.

    I’m considering a move and will plan to spend much of November meeting with property managers and filling out application forms, and possibly even the tag end of the month moving. That will certainly enforce some much-needed focus.

    I like this:

    1. Wine.
    2. Pot

    But I fear I misread you. Still, it’s a good plan, with maybe a whip-it session thrown in for laughs.

  2. I agree with you that you should wait for Scrivener to start outlining. Having something shiny and new is always good for a jump start. Plus Scrivener is just awesome. Sometimes it’ll get me to do a little work on a project even when I think I’m too tired, just for a chance to mess with the layout.

    Hey now. I do not want anything to do with recreational drugs. Yes, I know that’s hypocritical what with the wine thing and all that. I’m totally cool with my hypocritical ways.

  3. I was kidding in my late-night sleepy-eyed way anyhow. As an inexperienced plotter, I’m more concerned with accomplishing something really useful along those lines before Halloween. I got partway through the Scrivener tutorial and then got bored and went and sought alternatives and found an explanation of the snowflake method. It’s a little too much like software engineering for my tastes but I went ahead and started something out anyway. I can well imagine that this method and every other would fit into the Scrivener environment just fine. So basically my next task is to get through the tutorial far enough to see where and how I can best sketch out plot elements. I was too squinty with sleep deprivation to get so far last night.

    But, yes: This little exercise is showing me where I have great huge gaps and that I really need to start learning my characters so they can tell me what to do.

    Otherwise? Last minute? I really don’t have a clean and clear environment for writing in and one might expect I would take care of that but various factors indicate I will not. Oh, and I’ve found my new-ish laptop’s battery only lasts a couple three hours. That doesn’t seem like quite enough somehow but there’s nothing to do about it.

  4. Honestly, the snowflake method is too cold and left-brained even for me. :) I do use a three act structure when outlining, because otherwise I just won’t have any middle at all, or if I do it’ll just be people walking around and, like, eating.

    I tend to start my plot outlines by jotting down 5 events: call to adventure/whatever incident starts the story; crossing the threshold/point where the protagonist gets thrown into the thick of it for real; midpoint/pivot point; all is lost; final battle/confrontation/climax. Then I fill in the rest, usually with some regard for the aforementioned three act structure. Or in the case of this year, hope the rest will magically fill itself in as I write. I don’t always end up with a really detailed outline, but I need a road map of some sort.

    By the third draft those events are often nothing like what they looked like in the outline, and the structure has become so buried as to be unidentifiable. What can I tell you, I never said I was good at this stuff.

Tell your tale:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *