Friday, 28 October 2011

Keeping It Simple

Well, here it is.

My first novel outline.  EVER.

It's just under 6000 words, split into "developments".  Not scenes, chapters, plots, or POVs.  Just... development thingys.  This is Novel Writing: Catherine Stylee. 

I did try to do the "Chapter 1 = This Happens" structure, but it was messing with the flow of my story.  I'm taking a leaf out of Stephen King's "On Writing" book and telling the story first.  I'll work on the craft later.

Years of novel-structure research has been cast into the fire, in favour of Lazette Gifford's advice in her booklet: NaNo for the New and The Insane - A Guide to Surviving NaNoWriMo:

"An easy outline is to list 30 points in your story which can be written in about 2,000 word clumps.  You only need 1,667 words per day to reach 50,000.  If you have 30 things and write one each day, you'll reach your goal. It's that simple."

So, my outline describes what happens, from start to finish, in very brief detail.  The different colours establish a new event, whether that be a change in perspective or new dilemma (but not restricted to such).  There are 34 "developments" in my outline.  My shoddy maths tells me that a 50k word target will boil that down to 1470 words per development. 

I'm confident that I can waffle on for more than 1470 words for each, so I might just get to that self-imposed 70k mark!  Fingers crossed...

I don't know if it will work; It's quite a haphazard approach for an organisational geek like me.  I've got no choice but to go with it, now that NaNoWriMo is 3 days (and 13 hours) away. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

How are you all getting on? x



Daniel Swensen said...

What are all the colors for?

Catherine Noble said...

It's just a visual aid to help break up the sections for me, into more palatable chunks! :)

Matt (Inflatable) said...

Nice! You're way ahead of me. I have a sort of idea, and some free writes. Looks like I'm going to be winging it!

Lauren @ Pure Text said...

Hahaha, I'm also the the organizational type and all I've got are a few pages of brainstorming and very vague ideas (Basically, I'm winging it, like Matt, the commentor before me). NaNo just encroached too fast. Maybe next year I'll begin outlining in January, lol. I envy your colorful outline! Makes me smile just to see it.

Kris said...

I'm really impressed with how much ground work you've done. I've decided to freestyle it - I'm still not sure which of my two ideas I'm going to run with, but I have a vague notion of how both will pan out.

56 hours!

Anonymous said...

That looks very impressive and the theory sounds pretty good too. You should have no problems :-) Good luck!

Catherine Noble said...

@Matt (Inflatable) – Thanks! Good luck with winging it; I wish I had the guts :)

@Lauren @ Pure Text – It has creeped up on us, hasn’t it? I think if you’re anything like me, then there will never be enough time to prepare haha. Into the deep end we go! :)

@Kris – Thanks! I’m excited to see what you come up with; your ideas are excellent! :)

@nowondiversion – Thank you! I just read that you got 1773 words done in an hour at midnight. I’m well jealous! But inspired too :)

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