I tried NANOWRIMO once before, making it to 39,000+ words on a YA historical novel THE ROUGH DRESS by the end of the month of November. But without an outline, or a clear plan of where I was going and how to get there, I ended up with a lot of words but not much structure.
Four years later, that book is still a Work in Progress (WIP)!
I’ll be trying again this year with a midgrade contemporary realistic novel WHEREVER YOU ARE. This time, I’m outlining it in a rather hybrid way, drawing on some of the following tools, but not sticking faithfully to one or another.
- Evernote templates: https://evernote.com/blog/12-creative-writing-templates
- Posts at K.M. Weiland’s Helping Writers Become Authors
I have also ordered her Outlining Your Novel Workbook in print. I did buy and download the program of the same name, only to find that I cannot do planning and note taking on-screen, I work better with pen on paper.
- Derek Murphy’s One Page Novel Outline
The outline actually consists of about 30 pages, with one page for each step in his process, built around the classic Three-Act Structure.
I am still in the process of grabbing other bits of outlining advice as it shows up on various writers’ and writely website and blogs. I hope that by time November 1 rolls around – the first official day of National Novel Writing Month – I will have condensed all my notes, tables and index cards into one coherent outline. And be ready to write 50,000 words in 30 days. (That’s an average of 1,666 words a day. But who’s counting!)
Meanwhile, this is what I am working with:
I’ll check back in a week to let you know how far I have got.