Planning for Nanowrimo

startup-593327_1920So it is very nearly upon us.  I am currently in the throes of figuring out a plot and thought it might be good to share my thoughts here.  There are pantsers and there are plotters.  But I think that most people tend to be a mixture of the two.

Plotters have to have each step figured out before they write and pantsers fly by the seat of their pants- going into the process with no idea what will happen.  I’ve discovered that I need a considerable amount of planning, but not so much that I get trapped by it and become unable to let the story take twists and turns that might benefit it.  I need to have freedom within the plotting to follow new ideas that present themselves.

As I write my characters often take on a life of their own and make decisions which affect the plot.  This means I need to limit my initial plotting.  I am not however able to just go without any plot outline at all.  This leads to a whole lot of staring at blank pages and an end product which is completely different at the end than it was at the start.  Almost like a book brought to life by Dr.  Frakenstein.

In the past I have managed to be a useful cross between a plotter and a pantser by using this product.

Victoria Schmiddt will help you with every aspect of writing a draft in 30 days.  One that makes sense.  With a series of checklists and worksheets you will be able to develop believable characters and a plot that has all the necessary aspects of a good novel.  It also allows your draft to live and breathe.  You can keep track of any changes made to your original design as you go along.  This means that when you redraft you have a list of the things you need to research and the parts of the novel you need to change or expand on in order for the final draft to make sense.

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By doing this, you are able to carry on writing every day without having to backtrack.  A first draft simply can ‘t be perfect and Schmidt gives you the encouragement and support you need to keep going no matter what.

Furthermore, there are stickers people.  Stickers you can use to track your progress.  Using the front cover and some of these stickers I discovered a pattern to my writing.  I was able to figure out my best and worst days for writing and understand why that was so.

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I would love to know what you fellow writers think about plotting versus pantsing. How much do you plot?  And do you use a particular process for Nanowrimo or just follow your usual way?

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