NaNoPlanMo – Day 6

NaNoWriMo 2018 Facebook Cover

If you are giving the snowflake method a try, where are you in your planning?  I’ve only gotten through the first two steps and a little of step three. So far I like my characters, but they need a lot more meat on their bones.
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Following is a look at a great NaNo resource. (Hint: it’s great because it IS NaNo.)

There are so many resources out there to help with planning your novel and others that help you arrange your life so that you cross the finish line by November 30th. The best starting place is the NaNoWriMo website.  It’s their raison d’etre after all.

Here a peek at a handful of items from the NaNo Prep page.

NaNo Prep

 

You can follow them on Twitter and Instagram. They are also on Facebook and you will likely find pages for your local municipal NaNo organization.

NaNo IG

There are helpful articles, forum discussions, videos, and podcasts; you’re sure to find something that is exactly the thing you’re looking for.

NaNo Prep Library 1

Here’s an upcoming webcast.
Thursday, October 11

1:00pm

NaNo Prep Webcast: How to Write a Novel This November
WhenThu, October 11, 1pm – 2pm
Description
Join the live webcast event.
Join some of the folks at NaNoWriMo HQ for a webcast designed to prepare you for writing a novel this November! We’ll be pulling some noveling, outlining, and prepping prompts and activities from tried-and-true NaNo resources, as well as making up some fun new ones. Come write with a community of your fellow Wrimos and get ready to discover your story this fall!
For more NaNo Prep resources: https://nanowrimo.org/nano-prepThis webcast is sponsored by Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com/), a supporter of NaNoWriMo.

Depending on where you live, you can find writer-friendly resources and groups in your community. Library-sponsored NaNo workshops and programs are out there as well as other groups and organizations in the public sector. Finding a community is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I have a Come Write In group that meets year round. We aren’t always working on a novel, but we still discuss writing issues and keep our writing a priority. One member of the group thought up a really clever name for us. We call ourselves We Might be Writers and we’ve set up our own group on FB. They’re my people and they’re like family to me after meeting for the past three or four years. I count them one of the better things in life.
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Posted in NaNoPlanMo, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo 2018, writing

NaNoPlanMo – Day 5

A Look at the Snowflake Method – Part 4 of 4

Snowflakes 2

Here is the fourth installment of the ten steps to writing a novel using the Snowflake Method. Steps one through eight were posted previously. Here now are steps nine and ten.

Step Nine: Narrative Description. Using the plot you developed previously, with the critical scenes in place, write a narrative that includes specific details and key moments. You may wish to include some snippets of dialogue as well.

Step Ten:  Write Your First Draft. Integrating all of the work from steps one through nine, write your first draft. Write with confidence, because you’ve laid a great foundation.

In all fairness, this step can’t really be done until November First, or very late on October 31st, but you have the first nine steps. It only makes sense that you’re ready for the tenth.

This really sounds like a great plan to me. I’m game to give it a try. How about you?

(If you are going to give this a try, I urge you to consult the resource listed below. My descriptions of the steps are very abbreviated.)

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You can find more detailed instructions at the following web address:
Advanced Fiction Writing by Randy Ingermanson.

Posted in NaNoPlanMo, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo 2018, Snowflake Method, The Secret, writing

NaNoPlanMo – Day 4

A Look at the Snowflake Method – Part 3 of 4

Snowflakes 6

Here is the third installment of the ten steps to writing a novel using the Snowflake Method. Steps one through six were posted previously. Here now are steps seven and eight.

Step Seven:  Character Studies. Time to fully flesh out your characters. These studies should contain precise age, history, family dynamic, reactionary and interaction behaviors, methods for achieving goals, life lessons, a detailed biography, and personality. These studies will allow you to focus on the climax and change your character will face.

Step Eight:  Critical Scene Development. Develop critical scenes for your novel and figure out where they will be placed in your plot line.

While there are only ten steps in this method, I can see how it will take some time do them justice. If you read the instructions from the Snowflake website, you’ll see how the originator discusses hours, days, and weeks invested in some of these steps. But, since the focus here is NaNo, I’m going to say that there may not be all that much time. Well, there is at least October to invest if this seems like a good method of planning.

Last two steps tomorrow.

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You can find more detailed instructions at the following web address:
Advanced Fiction Writing by Randy Ingermanson.

Posted in NaNoPlanMo, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo 2018, Snowflake Method, writing

NaNoPlanMo – Day 3

A Look at the Snowflake Method – Part 2 of 4

snowflakes 4

Here is the second installment of the ten steps to writing a novel using the Snowflake Method. Yesterday I posted steps one through three. Here now are steps four, five and six.

Step Four:  Development of Summary. In this step, expand your summary paragraph so that you now devote a paragraph to each sentence. These paragraphs should each end in a crisis, while the final paragraph should describe the book’s ending.

This part of the steps should give you a good idea of how or whether this concept will work out. As you continue with each step, you will probably find that you have to go back and make adjustments to previous steps.

Step Five:  Character Synopses. Expand on the character summaries you wrote before. Include more information about traits and behaviors. Is the character calm or high-strung, deliberate or impulsive, etc?

Step Six:  Plot Line Expansion. Expand the plot line you have worked on in steps one and two to four pages. Include features such as forthcoming conflicts, pivotal characters, and strategic ways each interacts within the novel. Devote one paragraph to the character’s epiphany.

More steps tomorrow.

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You can find more detailed instructions at the following web address:
Advanced Fiction Writing by Randy Ingermanson.

Posted in NaNoPlanMo, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo 2018, Snowflake Method, writing

NaNoPlanMo – Day 2

A Look at the Snowflake Method – Part 1 of 4

 

Snowflakes

I recently ran across a method of novel planning called the Snowflake Method. I’d heard of it before, but never seen what it is. It takes a seemingly complex task and breaks it down into ten steps. Ten. Short. Sweet. Steps. Of course, each successive step is more involved than the one before it, but there are only ten. Not only that, but it’s a solid plan for mapping out your novel. Here, very briefly, are the first three steps.

Step One: Write a Novel Summary Sentence. This is a one sentence summary that states the central theme as well as the personal element of your story. The instructions say that this sentence should be no more than 15 words.

Step Two: Write a Novel Summary Paragraph. Using your Novel Summary Sentence as a starting point, expand your ideas to a paragraph that includes the central plot, cirises and a possible resolution. This paragraph should contain no more than 5 sentences. Use one for background, one for each crisis and one for the resolution.

Step Three: Characters Summation. Write a one page summary for each main character. Include name, plot line, motivation, goal, conflict, and their ultimate lesson for the novel.

More steps tomorrow.

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You can find more detailed instructions at the following web address:
Advanced Fiction Writing by Randy Ingermanson.

Posted in NaNoPlanMo, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo 2018, Snowflake Method, writing

NaNoPlanMo – Day 1

Pen and Paper

It’s October, or for those in the WriMo Realm, its National Novel Planning Month.

What are you doing about your novel? Do you have a plan? Do you know your characters? Their motivation? Their conflicts?

Think about the stories and books you enjoy most. What kind of situations draw you in as a reader?  Make a list of your favorite books and what it is about them that you enjoy most.

Drawing on these ideas, ask yourself some WHAT IF questions.

What if a boy who’s living with relatives who don’t like him is suddenly invited to attend a special school for magic users?

What if a small, meek hobbit is asked to perform a grand service to the races of the world?

What if a boy is bitten by a radioactive spider?

Get the ball rolling gently by mulling over  ideas that really grab your attention.

 

 

Posted in NaNoPlanMo, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo 2018, writing

Thoughts of Fall

birch leaves 2

I can see a tiny swath of trees and sunshine from beneath the awning over my bedroom window. The leaves on the trees have begun to take on the sunshine-yellow hues that herald the start of fall. There must be a breeze out there, because I can see flurries of golden birch leaves fluttering like some cheerful cross between snowflakes and butterflies. It makes me yearn to run outside so that I can film it or just be in the shower as it floats earthward from the trees. Instead, I am inside with the weight of a sleeping cat holding me firmly in place. But I have a laptop in front of me, so I will document the moment with a flurry of keystrokes and thought symbols floating in straight and orderly lines upon the white of virtual paper.

Now, outside that captured moment, I realize that my mind is pushing itself firmly toward NaNoWriMo mode. The desire to write is climbing steadily toward the top of my to do list.  And in the back of my mind, there are flurries of characters and situations and worlds to explore all floating around and awaiting their turn to be rendered into words.

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