This will never become a book.

2013 October 29 Tuesday

Plot Recipe

Filed under: writing — Tags: — kdefg @ 14:09

I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo for years.  My first year, I began the month with a blank page and no plan, and I generated characters and scenes out of thin air.  It was awesome! But it was not a book.  My second year, I began the month with a theme and some vague ideas, and I stalled very quickly.  I don’t even remember much of what I produced back then.  Even after reaching my 50K word goal two summers ago, I still have not produced a novel.

I finally joined a local group of writers who meet monthly to discuss The Craft.  I started to see the wisdom of making an outline and thinking about the importance of plot and structure in building a story.  I found books and articles and blogs that all presented their own spin on the idea that a story must have a structure.  Some of the focus was on movies or television episodes, so the templates might not work ideally for a novel, but the concepts are all there.  A story has ingredients, and they come together in a fairly common mixture.  I was afraid at first that my outline would restrict me, like a template or a formula which produces the same bland thing each time. Now I like to think of it as a recipe, and the results can vary with the cooks.

One benefit of being part of the NaNoWriMo community is in being exposed to more resources.  The @NaNoWriMo twitter feed gave me this gem today:

Our #NaNoCoach this week, @teribrownwrites, mentioned a post about feeding the muse by @KristenLambTX. Find it here:

And with that link, I was off on an adventure.  I discovered more info about plot points, much of what I’ve read elsewhere, but it is finally starting to sink in.  The rest of the blog is full of similar inspiration. I now have a synopsis of my story and a list of scenes ready to tackle.

Is it November yet?




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