Friday, October 31, 2014

Map For A Journey (NaNoWriMo Prep #6)

Let me go ahead and clear this up: there are two types of writers.
You have planners and you have pantsers.
Let's define, shall we?

  • Planners- planners will be your outliners. They may not even make a very detailed outline, but they will start a story with several different pieces of information. Most planners will know their characters and some of their scenes. Extreme planners (take J.K. Rowling) might know absolutely everything about their story before they even dare to pick up a pencil. Planners are people who prefer to have direction and organized ideas before they begin.
  • Pantsers- as the name implies, Pansters live to fly by the seat of their pants. A true panster will sit down with an idea and just go. Pansters, most of them at least, prefer to have no plan at all. Maybe they know how it might end. Maybe they know their characters. Pantsers trust their instincts and go for it.
So, which am I?
I tried to be a pantser for a long time, and the result was many unfinished and abandoned stories.
Now I am a planner, this novel more so than my last one. I had a sparse outline last time, and ended up with only 32,000 words. For NaNo, I need almost double that. 
Bring in the detailed outline!

So, to begin, I used Google Sheets and made a spreadsheet. I gave several columns, in hopes of making a better developed scene.

  • Scene Number - well, that's self explanatory. It's the number of the scene.
  • Name of Scene - this is for my personal organization. I need to name scenes to keep from getting them confused.
  • Characters Involved- mega helpful to keep track of what characters are where, doing what.
  • Point of View - My story is always in a third person limited point of view, and with a limited point of view I am allowed to choose which character I want to focus on. Think like in a first person shooter game, when you're behind the gun you normally have the option to zoom out and view the back of your character. I find it a better vantage point than actual first person, both in gaming and in writing. They're similar, but with third I find it easier to switch between character views.
  • Main Action- this is to give me a guideline for how I want the action to play out in the scene. It serves as my summary.
  • Reason for Scene - if this blank can't be filled, then there's no need at all for this scene to be in my book.
  • Emotional Response - how I want my characters and readers to react to the scene.
  • How It Leads Into the Next Scene - I tend to lose direction at the ends of scenes. This helps me keep my mind on track.
  • Conflict in Scene - because every single scene needs conflict, be it physical or emotional.
  • Resolution of Conflict - again, to help me pull the scene together at the end and carry on.
I hate writing outlines. They bore me.
Creativity is the childish side of your mind. It just wants to play and have fun. Trying to organize creativity is like trying to get a three year old to sit down and pay attention.
Nearly impossible.
Needless to say, some interesting things happen when I make attempts to outline stories.
I am so ready for NaNoWriMo.