I’ve been super busy this year producing work under a couple of different pen names, but I always find November’s NaNoWriMo to be a good writing exercise and time to produce something under my real name.
I’ve done NaNoWriMo every year since 2010. Two of the books I completed and self-published under NaNoWriMo were highly praised. The third is currently being looked at by a publisher. We’ll ignore the year my cat and computer both died and I lost half the novel I was writing. I still haven’t quite recovered from that and can’t bring myself to re-write the lost novel.
But anyhow, it’s October again and time to start my NaNo prep.
A few months ago I won a pre-made book cover in a giveaway, and I decided to build a story around the cover.
I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do for NaNo 2014, but I pretty soon managed to settle on a character, figure out her goal, throw some obstacles in the way and develop a plot.
I’m a planner. If I don’t know what’s going to happen in the novel I sit there staring at the screen.
Conversely, if I know how the story’s going to end, I normally don’t feel the urge to complete it.
(Which is probably why I have so many unfinished novels.)
I’m planning my new novel using the three act plot structure.
Act 1 ‘Exposition’:
- Inciting incident
- First turning point – where the hero accepts their new calling
Act 2 ‘Rising Action’:
- Obstacles and progress
- Mid-way point – a major setback
- More obstacles and higher stakes.
- Second turning point – what I call ‘the point of no return’.
Act 3 ‘Resolution’:
- Stand up and fight – the final push.
This is the structure I’ll be following in writing my novel. Let’s hope I can stick to it!