Just nine more days to November frenzy, and I noticed an interesting article on the Writer’s Digest website that may provide some help and motivation to those who are sitting of the fence of this year’s NaNoWriMo (like I am). It’s a short take on outlining, and I know that many of you out there like to fly by the seat of your pants. Kudos to you. But speaking from experience, outlining, even in its most basic form, saved my life the last two years at NaNo and was hugely instrumental in enabling me to finish.
Its much better to have some idea about what you are going to write each day than simply sit down to a blank page or blank screen and wonder where your muse will take you that day. My advice, in addition to what Brian Klems provides in the article, is to make just 30 outline points or scenes, and write to those points each day.
It helped me to write the opening and closing scenes on day one and day two and then fill in the gaps as I went along. As you can see. I’m not advocating a rigid linear experience. Once you having your scenes, write them anyway, anyhow and anytime you want. Just do one a day for 30 days, making sure you put in about 1650 words per outline point and viola! Some will go longer and some will be shorter and others will feel as if they need to be broken down further. Resist the urge to do any further outlining. Just put in a chapter break (###) on your page and continue.