A few months ago I had a concept, some character sketch ideas and a world I was steadily building. I had also read several great books on my Kindle all about the craft of writing. I was absolutely ready for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – nanowrimo.org) and nothing would stop me!
OK, so something stopped me. That something was job related, so I’ve landed up spending time on real life things (e.g. job hunting, budgeting, etc), rather than writing my fancy fantasy book. However, I’m really glad I did the groundwork and I’m not going to just throw that away (no bloomin’ way!). I found some really exciting resources in the lead-up that have changed my way of thinking, plotting and all that good stuff.
Enough Waffle, what did I find?
When writing I always get hung up on things like page count, word count, length of chapters, etc. I know it is possible to pick up a book in the genre that you write, count the lines, count an average number of words on a line, count the pages and work things out from there. I know it’s possible to calculate typical chapter length this way as well. I know a lot of things about writing. I know a lot of “things” about writing, without blowing my own trumpet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t forget them and forget the process, or that I don’t need to streamline that process.
Rock Your Plot
Among others, I read a wonderful little ebook called Rock Your Plot, which I’ll cover in more detail in an upcoming post. For now, suffice to say, it has really helped me while setting things out. I have a tendency, you see, to want to just write. An idea becomes a few ideas and I want to write down these ideas. An idea though, or even a few, as we all know, does not quite add up to that next bestseller. This book gave me an easy way to ensure my ideas weren’t just that, and had me really thinking hard about why a scene needed to be there at all and what it achieved for the characters, their arcs and the story as a whole.
Even though my (as yet, unnamed) fantasy remains unwritten, I have a bunch of notes and character sketches all nice and ready. I also have a plot sketch, which will evolve into a proper scene-by-scene outline of the entire story. Though it would have been good to start with this, I have backwards engineered it to fit my other stories, which has helped me to root out plot problems. Check out Rock Your Plot here, and the downloadables (including the scene outline), here. I’d recommend these resources for any budding author’s arsenal – it’ll help things take shape more quickly and give you a nice framework to boot things up!
My Other Fantasy
I know, I know I’ve dropped off the radar a little of late. Real life decided to deal one of those more peculiar hands. Sisters Noire lives though, and I’m planning a lot of things, including a mini-site and eBook launch. Promise!
In the next few blogs I will discuss what else I learnt from Rock Your Plot and share some other great ebook steals.
One more thing – best of luck to all you budding NaNo’s out there!