Some of you may know that I am a Super-Outliner. I don’t ‘pants’ anything when it comes to writing. I fill up every inch of our white board several times.
Each time I outline, I do it a little different, being guided by revelations I’ve had about plotting. I love a story that builds well and develops characters in an interesting way, something I worked on a lot in THE VARKEN. For THE BLESSED, my outlining developed even further, but I started the process the same way I always do.
Three Act Structure. I love it.
With THE BLESSED I had a vague idea of where things started and where things ended. The beginning of Act I and the end of Act III. Because of how the conflict is sparked, I knew where Act I would end, but that left Act II and III largely ambiguous.
So I put on my thinking cap. “How am I going to get to that big finish? What makes sense?”
At this point, I began to really work on my characters. In THE BLESSED I tackle more characters that I have in either of my previous novels, desiring to balance individually and development for each in the narrative. This resulted in 44 character sketches for the key players in the story and their supporters. Although not all of these characters are fleshed out as the main characters, that still leaves roughly 4 main characters/points of view with a total of about 20 secondary characters.
Knowing so many characters so well really helped me to develop the second and third Acts. I was able to discern what each character would do in a given situation and progress the plot thusly. As I previously mentioned in Relationships: Building Blocks, developing the characters involved investigating their relationships as well, which lead to many a plot epiphany.
Once I had the general outline in place, I went through each act and created Signposts. These little flags mark important events in each act.
Finally, I can take that and figure out the scenes and how they fit in.
I will admit, I don’t have all out my scenes planned out already. I do leave a little bit of room for inspiration to strike and the story to change. But I will planned out the scenes between each Signpost when I get there. This gives me an idea of where I’m going and how the pacing will be.
And so, I am fully prepared for NaNo 2015! I’ve been working on getting my words per minute back up so once my show – Through the Looking Glass – closes and I have more free time once again, I will be able to launch back into writing and editing.
I plan on having THE VARKEN finished with the first round of edits by November 1st and THE BLESSED finished by the end of Novemeber, leaping over the 50k towards 130k.
What are your goals for NaNoWriMo 2015? Are you a planster or a panster?