Trying Something New

Never be afraid to try something new. This is especially important for writers. The best thing an author can do to improve his craft is to experiment. Attempt something you haven’t done before, even if you feel that it is out of your depth. Change genres, work in a different point of view, write something longer (or shorter) than you normally write. Anything to shake up your imagination and give yourself a kick where it just might do the most good. Even if you fail, I bet you learn something.

The reason I bring this up is because I am trying something new. Every time I attempt to outline my story it seems like I do it a different way. Last time I was using a 30-day program, which I actually dropped about halfway through. This time my process is to write a summary.

I have been mulling over my idea for a few weeks now. I had an idea about the beginning, and I thought I knew where it was going, but I was still lost when it came to the middle. I do pretty well when it comes to “pantsing” my books, but I would really like to have a better idea of what to write before I start NaNoWriMo. And to be honest, I kind of want to get started on this project now instead of having to wait for November, even though I know that is against the rules.

So what I did instead was to start writing a summary. I started with my beginning and I wrote, free-form, what happens next. I have gotten through what will probably be eight or ten scenes, totaling about 600 words. I’ll keep on in that fashion until I get to the end of the book, then I will move on to the next step.

My plan is to take this summary and dissect it. I’ll pick it apart, separating it into individual scenes and try to figure out how each of them best fits into the story. I’ll determine what each scene needs to say about the character, and how it will advance the plot. I’ll see what pieces of information need to be revealed and which ones can be kept back until later. And most of all, I’ll fill in any holes I come across along the way.

I’m hoping that doing this will make a much stronger story out of my first draft, so I won’t have to worry about doing so much editing later. I’m also hoping that when I actually start writing the story in November I will be able to stick to this plan without having the characters derail it into something completely different. But that’s another problem for another day.

How are your plans for NaNoWriMo going? Are you ready? Have you got your idea worked out? Are you champing at the bit like me, or are you biting your fingernails and starting to panic? Most importantly, have you registered yet? I just realized I haven’t, so I’m going to sign off now and go do that little thing.

I’ll be back on Wednesday. See you then!

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, The Writing Experience

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