I’m a planner at heart, but a plantser in execution. I need a broad overview of the story, but I also want to be able to see the details of each scene as I write so that I know what I need to include while I’m having fun writing.
So with NaNoWriMo just a few days away, I’ve been thinking about how to plan out a story to write in November. Granted, there are only three days left in Preptober, but better late than never, I guess.
Anyway, here’s something I spent my day off creating. I’ve called it the NaNoWriMo Outline Creator, but it can be used any time of the year. And with no rigid word counts for each scene, it can be adapted for any length.
The Outline Creator goes from story to character, focusing on the foundation of the story and how the characters make it happen. There’s nothing about worldbuilding because, let’s face it, that could take up an entire year if you really wanted. Plus, when it comes to getting the words on the page for the first draft, worldbuilding isn’t really all that important. Sure, if you’re writing scifi or fantasy, knowing how your tech or magic works is helpful. But when it comes to figuring out the actual story, the mechanics of the fantastical aren’t really crucial.
Either way, the NaNoWriMo Outline Creator is just a tool that I wanted for myself, to guide me in the outlining process. It doesn’t require you to fill everything out. You can stop at the sequence level, or you can go through and fill out Scene Breakdowns for your plot points, major reveals, or even the entire story. The Outline Creator only accounts for 32 scenes, though at 1,500 words each, that would give you 48,000 words. And if you need to add scenes between the 32 that are laid out in the Outline Creator, no worries. Just use the Scene Wheels to plot out your mini-sequences instead of individual scenes. Easy peasy.
Not that any of this is all that easy. But we’re
narcissistic masochists writers. It’s what we do.
So here’s to figuring out the story. Laying out the details so that you have a roadmap for NaNoWriMo. I’ll be spending the next three days filling out my own copy. And hopefully, around this time next month, I’ll have a new first draft, ripe for revisions.
Click the button below to download a copy.