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Thursday Things

I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned since I did Nanowrimo, the month long writing challenge to complete 50K words in one month, and it seems time to haul out the notes and start planning for this year a little.

Not that I’m really a planner but…

So today’s ‘Things’ are about writing a novel. How do you get from the first line ‘It was a dark and stormy night’ to ‘The End?’ With your mind intact?

There are as many ways as there are writers. For example:

A. The ‘fly by the seat of the pants’ writers who may have the characters and the world and then sit down each day and write, mildly surprised by what the hero does and, what were you thinking, heroine, jumping the hero now?

…to…

Z. The ‘ploters’ who not only know where in the world their characters are going, these writers know what the hero ate for breakfast and how many pages into the story the cat is going to have kittens.

In between those extremes fall all the different levels of planning and not planning, making character lists and not making character lists.
There is no right way and no wrong way but…

BUT

If you are starting out and have no idea what to do and you want to have a novel with some kind of logic the QUCIKest and least planning method I’ve heard of yet that seems to work is…

Plan your disasters.

Without crisis you have no story.

So in a 50K novella if you plan three major crisis you have enough trauma to make your characters have to work for their happily ever after. And when I say plan your crisis I (of the little or no planning type ‘A’) mean simply-

Crisis A:
Heroine gets kidnapped

Crisis B:
Heroine overhears conversation and gets wrong idea about hero

Crisis C:
House catches on fire

Actually, that’s more detail than I’ve had before. Once the crisis I listed was ‘Use the something to trigger something.’ In the end, it worked out.

But it’s just an idea. Take it as you need it.

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