MyNoWriMo Step 8: Middle

Step 8Whew! That was the hardest step. But it’s done.

I’m still following Janice Hardy’s blog for a plan for preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo in July (just a couple of weeks from now!). I knew this would be the hardest part, because it’s the part I had the least clarity about before I began. There was a section in the first part of the middle that was wide open, with not nearly enough happening. It was a challenge to come up with complications and twists for that part of the story that weren’t arbitrary distractions from the path from beginning to end. I think I’ve done it, though! I’m now ready to spend the next two weeks polishing up the end of the story (which will, no doubt, have implications for the beginning and the middle, triggering changes there as well). I’m still on track!

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 – Late 😦
  • 5/31/15: Plan the beginning of the novel, from opening scene to first major turn – Early
  • 6/14/15: Plan the middle of the novel, including all the twists and complications leading to the ending – On time
  • 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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6 thoughts on “MyNoWriMo Step 8: Middle

  1. There is so much more to writing a novel than I thought. I wasn’t tempted before reading your post, and I’m definitely going to steer clear of novel writing in the future. Kudos to you for on-time persistence.

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    • Hi, Anne. Thanks for taking the time to comment. There are two ways to respond to what you said. The first is that your decision not to write a novel is an absolutely fine decision for you to make. If you don’t have the sense that there’s a novel in you trying to get out, if you don’t feel committed to the big work of a long book, there is no reason I can think of why you should do it. You get to choose how to spend your time and your energy. The other response, though, is not to make this decision based solely on my struggles. I’m a compulsive planner and plotter. In my college teaching profession, I know what will happen in every single class for the whole semester before the class meets for the first time. That’s just me! You need to know that there’s a whole other way to approach this task. Lots of folks call themselves “pantsers” because they prefer to write by the seat of the pants – get an idea for an opening scene or a character and just start writing, discovering the story as they go. That absolutely won’t work for me, but it might be just your cup of tea. If it sound interesting, I can refer you to a post by the NaNoWriMo folks on just this issue. Let me stress that you don’t need to go one step further toward writing a novel if you don’t want to, but if you’re feeling a little bereft about turning away from a goal you’d like to pursue, think about looking into this other approach. Whatever you decide, live the life you want to live with gusto!

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  2. Thanks so much for choosing to follow my blog. I hope you enjoy stepping in now and again.

    I did NaNoWriMo a few years ago when I first tried a little creative writing and know many that have done it since, but here in the UK it is always in November. Is your camp something else entirely or a lead up to it?

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    • Hi! You’re right that the official National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is in November every year. For lots of us, November is an impossible month for that project! So some folks have set up essentially the same process at other times during the year (April and July), and they call it Camp NaNoWriMo. You can visit their site here. I have never done NaNoWriMo (impossible, remember?), but the camps are rather flexible. You can set your own word count goal (it doesn’t have to be 50,000 as it is for NaNo), and there are other variations for things like poetry and screenwriting. You can choose to be matched up with other participants in a “cabin” of up to 12 people, according to genre or age category or just randomly, or with friends, or all by yourself. I’m looking forward to the experience!

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