Since I’ll be spending so much of November working on my NaNoWriMo project, I thought I’d show you a bit of my prewriting process. This is what I did during October. This post is about outlining.
I need to know my story before I can write it. I’ve tried writing without having an outline and it turned into a jumbled mess that I still need to fix. Each story comes to me in varying degrees of completeness. This story, I knew the beginning, but I wasn’t sure about the ending. I didn’t quite know where it would end. To work it out, I use note cards.
Through experience, I learned to number them. It’s a basic idea of what happens when. I write one note card, then move to the next one. If I’m stuck, I know I just have to write the next one. This outline ended up being almost 70 note cards long, which is quite a lot for me. Once I finish the skeletal structure of the story, it’s time to add the meat – the muscle. On the back of the note card, I add a few notes about that plot point.
Then I take it all and type it up into an outline, with a lot of spaces between each point. Once I print it out, I add even more details below each plot point.
|Putting more meat to the outline|
|First draft outline|
In the end, I have a complete outline and a clear idea of where I’m going. For this NaNoWriMo novel, I created a 26 page outline, ready to guide me through the crazy month of November. It’s my road map, keeping me on track.