This got me thinking about structure and I have come across many variants of a three-act structure.
Take an idea you have and plan the plot using the following as a guide.
1. Introduce your character and their world.
2. An event that sets the story in motion.
3. Determine what happens next.
4. Determine the goal that isn’t going to come easily.
5. The game changer.
6. The decision.
I love summer but I love when Autumn rolls around too and it’s for a few reasons. The colour of the trees, the excuse to cuddle up under a duvet as the weather gets cooler, Halloween and Christmas. I even love listening to the sound of the rain on the roof. Yeah, I am strange.
Another reason why I get so excited for this time of year is that the countdown has begun for National Novel Writing Month.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, it is ‘thirty days of literary abandon.’
Founded by a group of writers in San Francisco in 1999, the idea is that for thirty days between 1st – 30th November, we tell the internal editor to leave us alone and just write. It’s all about getting the fifty thousand words written rather than worry about the quality. There is a whole load of advice on how to approach editing once the challenge is done.
My internal editor has a lot to answer for and I think this is why I love this chance to say goodbye to it for a while. The community surrounding NaNoWriMo is incredible and so supportive. I really feel like I am a part of something.
This will be my seventh year participating but it still hasn’t lost any of its excitement.
Your book can be in any genre and POV you like.
My routine is that I buy a new notebook in October. I know, any excuse right? I always set out to plan what I am going to write. Some years have a more detailed outline than others and more often than not I will start out with a plan and end up a pantster by the end of the month. That’s part of the fun.
The advantage of this challenge is the fact that by the end, you will have words down on paper or computer. Even if you don’t finish, you will still have more words written than you did at the beginning of the month. It’s a fun way to write.by
Wow, we are already halfway through National Novel Writing Month. That is slightly hard to believe.
This month seems to be moving at an incredible pace.
Despite a few personal things I’ve had to deal with this month, so far, I am on track as far as the writing is concerned. In fact, I am slightly ahead of where I’d expect to be at this point in the month. As of yesterday, I’d passed the 30,000 word mark. I am very pleased.
My approach this month has been slightly different to previous years. At this point in the past, I have seen myself in various states. One year, I was already finished by now whereas the year before last, I finished on 30th November with two minutes to spare praying that my internet connection would hold long enough for me to be able to verify my win (which it did thank goodness!)
Where NaNoWriMo is concerned, I am very much a pantster. I tend not to plan much. I have a vague idea and tend to just go with it. With this writing challenge, I tend to like to see where the story will take me. (This month, the non planning was more that November jumped out at me slightly and I ran out of time.)
This year, I have been taking it slow and steady roughly writing 1800 words a day. I have to say, I am liking this pace. If I finish too early, then I don’t know what to do with myself.by
Wow. We’ve reached December. My countdown to Christmas has begun. My Christmas Card list has been made (and they sit on the side waiting to be done.) I have my beautiful Christmas tree up (nothing like a real one) and I can legitimately sing Christmas songs without getting funny looks from people (well, kind of. My singing is terrible.)
This time of the year also means that National Novel Writing Month is once again over for another year. I always have a mixture of emotion when I finish NaNoWriMo. On the one hand, I am relived and pleased that it is done. 1,667 words a day is a lot to commit to and it is easier said than done to reach on a daily basis when all you want to do is curl up and sleep or have family commitments or in my case, a holiday. On the other hand though, I am sad it is over. By now, I am in the bubble of the NaNoWriMo thing. I have got into the swing of my story. It is around now that I am past the moments where I have found it hard going and the threat of my laptop meeting my wall have been temporarily suspended.by
This will make the fifth year that I have taken part in National Novel Writing Month (2015’s event kicks off tomorrow.) Whilst there are many moments within the thirty days where I want to scream, lift my desk and throw it over whilst also throwing my laptop out the window whilst screaming “Laura smash,’ hulk style, there is nothing like that feeling when you reach and pass the 50,000 word target and feel incredibly proud of yourself for doing so.
For people who don’t know what National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is, it’s a 30 day writing challenge. 50,000 words, 30 days. It’s all about getting the words down in any shape or form and telling your inner writing critic to go away for a while. It can be hard work but it can be really fun and there is a lovely online community attached to it too.
As usual though, in true Laura style, I have left everything to the last minute. I have been frantically trying to get all my planning done and get the things together that I need for my NaNoWriMo survival kit.
My computer, notebook, loads of pens and pencils.
This is a must for my NaNoWriMo. I do mostly type straight onto the computer (using Scrivener,) but sometimes, it does help me to have a notebook nearby for when I need a change of scenery or when I can’t use my laptop.
My NaNo Plan.
I find I am needing to know where I am going with a story, especially during November. There is so little time in the month to get to 50,000 words that I need to have a clear idea of where I want the story to go so I don’t get stuck and waste time.by