“The goal here is to have your 49,999th word be ‘The’ and your 50,000th word be ‘End.’ ” (pg. 134)
“Now is a perfect moment for you to put word count issues aside, size up your story, and figure out how close you are to The End.
In your guesstimation are you:
A) More than halfway through with your story?
B) Exactly halfway through with your story?
C) Less than halfway through with your story?
If you answered A or B, hallalujah. Great job. …If you’re worried about running out of story before you reach 50,000 words, don’t. For one, you probably have more wrapping up to do than you realize. And for two, a prologue, epilogue, and table of contents can always be conjured…
If you answered C, though, we need to talk. …You should try to write a complete story this month because you’ll find the visionary work of creation becomes much, much more difficult after your #A30/31/50K deadline expires and your Inner Editor moves back home to live with you again.
…It can be disheartening to realize that you aren’t going to be able to write every scene in your novel before the month ends, but I can tell you from experience that it is much easier to fill in connecting scenes and interludes during rewriting than it is to have to conceive and write the final five chapters of a story after the month has ended. Avoid that by bending your story arc now so its tail-end is pointing squarely at 50K.” (pp. 133-135)
My Map Exercise – see 11/14 for instructions. (pp. 140-142)
I had a great time creating these maps. They aren’t as detailed as they could be, but they still helped me visualize places and events in the story. As I was creating them, they were like an anchor to my characters and what was happening to them. I will admit, they took a lot of time to conceive and execute, but still worth it.
Baty, C. (2004). No Plot? No Problem!. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.