Alright, so as of Friday night, I have finished plotting out my book for NaNoWriMo this year. Now of course, it’s an outline, so there’s certainly a lot more to the story I’ll have to figure out while I write, but the bulk of the story is decided. I know whodunnit, and I know how Garsek gets from his office in the beginning to a solution in the ending. It’s exciting stuff!
I wanted to talk a little about my plotting process this year. Last year, I didn’t plot at all, and that’s probably why I’m having to go back and edit everything I wrote, although the edits are more mechanical than story based. This year, I started out doing my plotting in Google Docs, like a lot of people I know. I got a good way through, but found everything a little too messy to follow clearly. I did some research, and I found Plottr, which is a great little app that contains all the important bits and pieces of information in one place.
As you can see in the image above, Plottr gives an elegant timeline, that can then be expanded in the outline mode to see the explicit details of the chapter. Further, you can input character details, and mark down which characters can be found in each chapter. The same can be done with places, too. I will say that my writing style tends to focus on shorter chapters, so while the outline above might say, “Chapter 2,” it might end up being split into two or three pieces itself, depending on the flow I get into at the time of writing.
So that’s it! I’ll be refining the outline a bit in the next couple weeks, making sure I have put all the characters in play, and tagged all the places in each chapter. After that, since I have the entire month of October before NaNoWriMo, I’m thinking about writing an outline for the second Garsek book, for which I have many ideas floating around in my head.
This Wednesday, I’ll be posting an excerpt from my novel from last year. It’s the Prologue, so there won’t be any spoilers per se, but it should give a solid understanding of some of the intricacies of the world my books are written in, as well as giving a taste of my writing style itself.
In the meantime, keep reading!