Saturday, November 23, 2013

A start

The end is near and I know I’m not going to make it.

NaNoWriMo 2013 is heading into its last week. I’ve been working on my piece but it won’t be completed by next Saturday night. Nor will it be 50,000 words, but I will have a story.

It should be about two thirds finished when NaNo expires yet what I have now I feel very good about. Unlike my others, this story has been outlined. Actually, it is still being planned out. The likes of KM Weiland have touted the advantages of outlining.

Plotting is a time consumer, that is for sure. Trying to plunk down 50,000 words in a month is tricky in and of itself. Sharing that precious time with an off-task not actually writing can be discouraging. But the is big pay off is big.

Sitting at the keyboard with a clear understanding of where the story is to go allows a confidence to write. Fingers tap away heading in the general direction of the outline, yet there still is room for the story to find it’s own way and take those unexpected turns to surprise the author as it should the reader. My pantsing days are over.

A nice addition to the outline was a return to story basics. As I plotted the book, I took more time with a little research into simple story structure. A Google search for “3 act structure” produced a lot. There are articles on it, or clicking on the images tab pulls up graphic representations of the concept. With multiple interpretations of the concept one can quickly grasp an understanding with a minimum of effort. The story structure has been around since the ancient Greeks began entertaining.

I’ve thrown down 20,300 words and won’t be able to double it in a week. Yet with a basic understanding of story structure and a little time dedicated to plotting, by NaNo’s end I will have the start of a solid novel. By June, I should have something to workshop at WIFYR.

(This article also posted at

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