MyNoWriMo Step 5: Scenes

Step 5  Scene Sketches

I made it through the whole book, sketching out all the scenes from opening to The End. I’m pretty happy with the shape of the novel so far, but I can already see places where things need to be tightened up and moved around a little. I’m counting this as a completed step, on time, even though it will spill over a little into the next step. I figure I’ve still got more planning done than all my no-pants colleagues have, so I can relax a little if it’s not as completely complete as it might be. I keep telling myself that.

What’s that? Did I hear someone say “compulsive”?

Okay, I accept that, and I’m not ashamed of the compulsive person I am. I embrace my compulsiveness. I think it works for me!

I’m making good progress on my march up to my July NoWriMo. I have decided to make a detour, though, by changing what the next deadline is going to be about. I’m not moving it, just changing the target. Originally it was to complete an “idea bank” wherein I tossed all the ideas I have for setting, dialogue, jokes, tender bits, or other toothsome morsels that I don’t want to forget. Frankly, the way I did the scenes, that’s already there. My scene summaries frequently stretch onto two pages, including everything I can think of to go in there. “Mention Naia’s tattoo.” “Kay as a really lame Doctor Who companion.” I’m sure more ideas will come to me as I plan more things, and even as I write the actual draft in July, but when they do I’ll just drop them into the right place and keep going.

Instead, my next step is going to be something borrowed from Randy Ingermanson’s snowflake method of planning a novel: the character stories. It’s also related to an idea from Liz Michalski who posted on Writer (un)Boxed with a tip about revising, but which I think will work for me here. The idea is to look at the story from the point of view of each character separately. I won’t need to do this for my central character Kay, because the story is already clearly hers. It’s even in her first-person POV! But for at least the next 4 or 5 characters in the inner ring, I’m going to map out the changes and arcs that each one goes through. This will give me a clearer view of each person. That, plus the tightening of the scenes that’s spilling over from today’s deadline, will keep me busy for  the next two weeks.

Progress so far:

  • 3/1/15: Set the goal (a full 50,000-word draft, or half a novel?) – On time
  • 3/8/15: Develop my one-sentence pitch line – Early
  • 3/22/15: Establish major set pieces/beats – On time
  • 4/12/15: Develop a rough synopsis – On time
  • 5/3/15: Complete a rough outline or scene sketch – On time
  • 5/17/15: Map out each character’s story line
  • 5/31/15: Plan the beginning of the novel, from opening scene to first major turn
  • 6/14/15: Plan the middle of the novel, including all the twists and complications leading to the ending
  • 6/28/15: Plan the ending of the novel, including the climax and the final resolution
  • 6/30/15: Get all my logistics in place (word-count log, file formats, backups, and so on)

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