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Elle Clouse

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The NaNoWriMo Game Plan

NaNoWriMo starts in less than two weeks!

To prepare, I’ve created an outline using Holly Lisle’s Professional Plot Outline course, available for $.99.  Since I’ve never actually outlined, I figured I would consult an expert resource.  Now I have my whole novel plotted out, down to the scene, from beginning to end.  The course even pushed my ideas further than originally anticipated to new and fun plot devices.  I am hoping that a complete outline will prevent writers block and keep me on track the whole month.

The next step, I will be adding all my scenes from the outline and sticking them into Scrivener.  I bought Scrivener last year after my NaNoWriMo win with my winner’s discount and promptly forgot about it.  A writer friend, Jonathan Fesmire, mentioned he enjoys the program so I watched the start up video and updated my program.  Scrivener has this neat note card feature I can put all my plot points into.  So where ever I pick up writing, I’ll know where I am and where I’m going.  I could probably write the novel backwards, but I’m not that masochistic.

I will also be using the ‘research’ file system where Scrivener saves your files/images/sound bites IN SCRIVENER.  So it’s all at my finger tips when ever I need it.  I will be using this Character Chart for Fiction Writers to really flesh out my characters.  It’s seven pages long and asks for things I don’t normally think about.  It will stay right next to my writing and I can pull it up with a click or I can even use the two pane option and write while looking at it.  This way, my characters wont have eyes that change color through out the book.  My previous method of keeping a notebook isn’t ideal for me.

That’s the game plan so far.  For being a pantser in the past, I feel that’s pretty good.  If you are participating in the NaNoWriMo, what are you doing to prepare?

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Countdown to NaNoWriMo!

2013-Participant-Square-Button It’s October so the countdown to NaNoWriMo has officially begun!  The NaNoWriMo website has been revamped, the new web badges are out, and people are flooding  back to the WriMo forums.

This year, I will be writing a contemporary sci-fi romance novel called “Sweet Justice”.  I’ve had the idea for a while now and I’ve been working on outlining it mentally for over a year.  Now, I’m working on outlining in a more fixed form, I’ve got myself a bullet point list of events.  Start to finish.  I feel all organized…

Since I’ve been writing nothing but fantasy romance, I decided to mix things up a bit with modern day super heroes, arch villains, and a damsel capable of fending for herself.  No distress here.  Should be fun to see my heroine struggle between THREE love interests!  Mwa ha ha!

And behold, I have written a blurb!

Between secretly spying on her employer, heavy office flirtations with the mail clerk, and an unhealthy obsession with super hero news, Justice thought that things were finally going her way. As the ChemPharm research facility exploded and demolished months of undercover work, Justice took some comfort in the arms of Ultraman as he whisked her away from the blast.

When a drunken midnight calling card meant for Ultraman attracted Blaze instead, Justice has the chance to tell off the lab saboteur. Only instead of searing jibes and insults, sparks start to fly between Blaze and Justice and his abrupt departure leaves her confused and angry.

Will Justice be able to pick up the pieces of her destroyed project? Will Justice have to choose between the super hero and his arch nemesis? And what about the mail clerk who fills out his dress shirts just right?

One Outlining Method

A friend of mine found a method for plot outlining a novel called The Snowflake Method.  You basically take one concept and expand upon it until you have a whole novel charted out.  It’s a concept that I never thought of before and I thought to myself, that’s nice but I don’t think I can use that based on my current creative process.  There is no one method that works for everyone and that is just fine.

I found myself with some downtime and decided to nail down certain things in Northam, the fantasy world my current works take place.  Things are getting too long and complicated to rely on going back and looking so I started an outline of how magic worked in my setting.  I started with the broadest concept of magic and started to break it down into its many points, adding types of caster, types of magic, sub types of magic, etc.  I’m not going to tell you what I devised, you will have to read my novels to figure that out, but when it was done I realized that I had used the Snowflake Method.

I guess without even realizing it, something I had read about maybe a month ago was still rolling around in my brain and I found a practical application for it.  Since most of my story ideas originate from dreams I’ve had, I am not certain it will work for plotting but it has other application.  I’m sure that I can use the technique for outlining other things in the setting.

So I thought that I’d share the article I found in hopes that you can find use for it.  Like I said, not every method works for everyone but knowing your options will help you devise the method that works best for you.

My Pinterest

I’ve purposely avoided Pinterest since all I heard about it was how it sucked hours of people’s lived away.  By that description, it’s a very scary thing and I didn’t need to risk my time.  A good friend of mine, Renea Mason, who has a very smexy new book out right now that I highly recommend, pointed out that one might be able to use Pinterest as an inspiration board.  

So I’ve done just that, I’ve created boards for every story I plan to write.  Some are finished and seeking publication, some are nothing more than a vague idea I dreamed up.  (Literally.)  Feel free to check out my boards, 😉  I don’t have boards for every idea , just the ones that I found images for.  The boards will expand as I find more appropriate pictures.  

I hope I don’t get sucked into some time vacuum and wake up decades later…

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