Daily Archives: October 18, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Outline

Two weeks to go!

And, of course, other plot bunnies are now starting to move in, but I’m ignoring them.  (Yes, this means you, sequel to Song and Sword —  I don’t care how pretty you look or what kind of puppy dog eyes you give me – I am not changing stories again.)

Ahem, yes.  As I was saying…

Two weeks from today I and will be throwing myself into a new novel, one that is a break from the series that I have been working on for… a very long time.  I’m excited and eager to get started, and yet feeling a little guilty for abandoning The Academy of the Accord.  But it will be there when the month is over, and I will return to it, rested and renewed and ready to finish another book or two of it.

Meanwhile, prep work for Tales of the Onyx Sun continues. I’ve made a good start on my outline, the promised scans of which are below.

outline page 1 001 outline page 2

I didn’t start with that, though. I started with a word file in Which I put notes such as:

“FMC buys a star ship — small, can be crewed by just one person, but also can carry cargo — from a place that buys them at auction and resells them. The place that she buys it from later goes boom. 

The ship was previously owned by a pirate or smuggler or something who worked for what is basically the mob and there is something hidden in the ship that they want.  But what?  Illegal drugs?  Illegal gems?  Illegal something…  Maybe even information that can cripple their operation?  Ugh.  Deciding on that is going to be a major problem.

If I want a 2nd character, FMC can discover a stowaway?  Maybe an alien? Or the alien might be what the mob type organization is after?  But how would she or he have escaped detection (and lived) while the ship was being auctioned and then sold?  He or she was imprisoned in a hidden hold and had food and water? Suspended animation?”

Yep, pure stream of consciousness rambling, usually done in 750words.com

I also include notes from the exercises in Ready, Set, Novel! or other plot building exercises.

There are also lists (I love lists!) of things I need to know or need names for.

Once I get a couple pages in my Word file I print it out (on scrap paper that I’m recycling since it’s just going to end up getting tossed anyhow) and sit down with more scrap paper and start a rough outline.  I have to do it on paper – as you may have noticed I draw arrows and ask and answer questions as I go.

The next step is to type the outline up in a Word doc, print it out again, and go over it with colored pens making changes and more notes and drawing a lot more arrows.

Then I type up the changes, print, and repeat. It’s not unusual for my outline to be over a thousand words.

I also try to have at least 10 plot points on it, with a goal that each one will account for 5000 words.  I usually end up with more than 12 points just to make sure I have enough to get me through the month.

This cycle pretty much continues until 11:59pm on October 31st.

Actually, it continues after that – I have a printed copy of my outline with me when I go to write ins or some place where I’ll be writing by hand, and I continue making changes as I write and new things pop up – either questions or answers.

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