Plotting?

I’m plotting up a novella for November and remembering how to actually construct a story. One of these days I’ll figure out how to use those story arc diagrams during the process, but I’m secretly afraid of them. So far I’ve had to resist throwing in a random princess which, for some reason, and along the way I’ve actually come to know my protagonist better. She’s pessimistic, missing an eye, and handy with a spear.

I’m using my free NaNoWriMo trial of Scrivener, which I have pretended not to need for years. I have won NaNo several times and felt no need to actually use the 50% off discount I get for the program, and now that I am in the throes of editing The Book of The Dead (my current novel WIP), I have been wishing desperately for it.

My plotting involves writing out plot points in a notebook, doodling characters, becoming frustrated with my own inaccurate portrayals of those characters, and then drafting an outline in a document. Somehow I now have a complete outline that I think will take me to a 15,000 word novella, but we’ll see come November.

Pictured Below: my characters and I agreeing to collaborate for the next month

contract

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Recalibrating

I’m over halfway through the current round of revision of The Book of the Dead, which has been going swimmingly. Until yesterday. I was in the middle of one of my favorite scenes, about to re-introduce a character, when…bam, all of the sudden I can see an arc for him that I have never contemplated.

It literally stopped me in my tracks. I had to write down the bare bones of the idea, close my laptop, and stop working to let it incubate.

On one hand, it’s fairly late in the game to be making a big change. This was supposed to be a semi-final draft (if such a thing even exists). On the other, the new trajectory that came to me in a flash solves about three problems that I’d been worrying over: one about representation, one about reception, and one about pacing.

So today, when I was supposed to be polishing up a chapter, I am about to re-structure three. We’ll see how it turns out.