NaNo 2015: The Outline

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?”Read More »

Relationships: Building Blocks

As I am editing The Varken, I am also eagerly preparing for The Blessed, the last and final Keeper book (for now). In fact, I’ve already written the Prologue and the first scene to set the tone for the novel, although I won’t start getting super serious about writing until NaNoWriMo starts in November and I’m done with my first round of edits for The Varken.

However, one thing that is different about my process for this novel, as opposed to what I have done before, is how I am developing the plot. I started with Signposts and my Three-Act-Structure that I love, but there was a lot to fill in. I knew where the story would start (10 years after The Varken, 15 years after The Keeper), and the basics of the direction I wanted the plot to head in with a vague idea for how things would end.

Rather than meticulously scrutinizing every aspect of how things COULD work out for the plot, I dove into developing my characters. I got the basics down: appearance, general personality, hopes, dreams, weaknesses, you know the drill. Knowing my characters better certainly helped me to understand what they would do in certain situations, but so much of The Blessed is based around characters reacting to other characters, rather than a position they are in or some situation out of their control. Everything is up for grabs.

So what I did, was I started a lovely folder for Relationships!Read More »