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Planning a Novel… In Five Days

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  • #55450
    A Kitchen Sink
    @hgm_barnes18

    Guys… help.

    So I have to do NaNoWriMo for school this year– not that I wouldn’t do it for fun; I’ve done it every year for the past five years. 🙂

    Basically, I have a problem… I have had an idea for the novel I want to write for a while– based off this short story series I wrote over the summer.

    But I have no idea how to plan the whole thing so quickly. I have a general grasp of some characters, and a looser or tighter grasp on others. I have ideas of the themes and the world, but I’m not so sure about the plot yet…

    Help, anyone?

    "If you called out to the void loud enough... hard enough... would the void answer back?"

    #55452
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @hgm_barnes18

    Well… Do you need to plan? I didn’t plan at all for NaNo… and I realize that might not work for you, but it might be worth a shot. *says the one hundred percent pantster*

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Buddy J..

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #55456
    A Kitchen Sink
    @hgm_barnes18

    @wordsmith

    I getcha. I discovery wrote all my other books, pretty much– in fact, the only one that failed is one I overplanned, I think. But I do need SOME planning, I think. Just kinda a general plan, though, not a step-by-step outline… I also really want to figure out where my characters are exactly, because that helps me figure out where my plot should go.

    "If you called out to the void loud enough... hard enough... would the void answer back?"

    #55459
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @hgm_barnes18

    Wanna bounce a character at me?

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #55462
    A Kitchen Sink
    @hgm_barnes18

    @wordsmith

    Most definitely probably, haha. I can’t at the moment, perhaps tomorrow. Thanks for the offer!

    "If you called out to the void loud enough... hard enough... would the void answer back?"

    #55463
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @hgm_barnes18

    Sounds good!

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #55660
    A Kitchen Sink
    @hgm_barnes18

    <p><p>

    @hgm_barnes18 Sounds good!

    </p></p>

    "If you called out to the void loud enough... hard enough... would the void answer back?"

    #55662
    A Kitchen Sink
    @hgm_barnes18

    <p>

    <p><p></p>

    @hgm_barnes18 Sounds good!

    <p></p></p>

    </p>

    "If you called out to the void loud enough... hard enough... would the void answer back?"

    #55699
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @hgm_barnes18

    I am here!

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #55712
    A Kitchen Sink
    @hgm_barnes18

    @wordsmith

    Lol, hi, sorry about that… stupid computer was messing up. XD

    "If you called out to the void loud enough... hard enough... would the void answer back?"

    #55716
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @hgm_barnes18

    Okay… No worries!

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #55788
    Grace
    @literatureforthelight

    @hgm_barnes18 Are you familiar with story structure? KM Weiland’s site has free blog series on the different plot points, which you can use to plan your story around. (She also has a blog series on Outlining Your Novel, which I haven’t gotten around to finishing, as well as character arcs which you can read after story structure.)

    So I would suggest reading up on the plot points and having a vague idea of where your character is going to go. Is there a conflict? What happens to your character? What end are they going to end up at, and how are they going to get there?

    I’m in much of the same situation. I was going to do NaNoWriMo (and then realized that I would drive myself crazy if I did) so I was planning and developing a story which I’m trying to write in smaller increments now.

    I think a few tips I would have is to know how much you need an outline and how much you’ll be able to make up on the spot as you’re writing everyday. This is based on how much you know yourself and how you’ve written before.

    Also, you want to keep yourself from “this plot/character needs to be amazing!” mindset. Honestly, it’s a first draft, and unless you’re going to be graded on the cohesiveness of your draft, it’s okay to make mistakes. You don’t need to figure everything out at this point, and it certainly doesn’t need to be stellar. I keep reminding myself while I’m writing that I’m making the outlines for the jigsaw pieces of the bigger puzzle… and in the future I can reshape them, rearrange them, but for now they’re there and I can start fixing my mistakes once I get to the revising stage.

    Adding on to the last paragraph, take what you have and ask questions, and go from there. Don’t say “Oh the protagonist needs to have a realistic relationship with his/her parents.” That’s fine, but it can put pressure on you and keep you from actually making progress. Ask yourself “Will having a parent-child relationship be logical in the direction I want the story to take?” and “What’s this person like? How will they relate to their parents?” And so forth. Take elements of the story you have in place and go forth from those to build the bigger picture.

    I hope that helps! These are lessons I’ve been slowly realizing in my own frustrations over the past few weeks, so I’m glad I can share them with you 🙂

     

     

    INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

    #55956
    A Kitchen Sink
    @hgm_barnes18

    @lliteratureforthelight

    Thank you so much, that is all so helpful.

    "If you called out to the void loud enough... hard enough... would the void answer back?"

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