I think it goes without saying by now that if I’m not doing any writing, I’m not doing any writing-specific posts. But I also feel guilty when there’s a long stretch of radio silence on the topic here, because I’m mostly letting myself down by not working harder to stick with it. Miraculously this morning as I had my breakfast at La Madeleine, I was inspired to look at my old Word document. And, somehow, I now have some progress I think worth sharing!
Over the past few months, I’d felt that I needed to have a really good outline before I could properly begin to write. Up until today, I thought had a pretty strong outline of the first five potential chapters of my story. I still like them even though I now know they are a lot of pretty scenes without much substance. Hopefully I can salvage them after the plot developments of today. But right now I’m not so sure what’s going down with them.
Today, after looking at what I had, I decided that I could go no further until I had the climax of my story. I needed to know where my MC needed to go in order to plot how to get her there. (Sorry if this is obvious, I always forget it though.) One of my biggest pet peeves in bad stories is a directionless MC, and I’ve also known for a while I didn’t know what my MC cared about or how she would be motivated to move the story forward. I think I kind of figured it out now!
This is literally the first time all year that I feel rather sure that I might truly have landed upon the outline that will become my first novel. And the best thing is that unlike all the past times I’ve felt I made a breakthrough, this time is not a drastic turn in a different story direction. It’s like I’ve worked out the magic combination of all the main things I wanted my story to have. I’m still kind of dumbfounded about how I managed it.
After this read-a-thon is over, I think I will do a writing post on the Seven-Point Plot Structure which I used to create this new outline. I think it’s something I’ve talked about before, but I’m not sure I ever wrote a comprehensive post about it and explaining how to use it. It’s helped me draft 500-word outline that I can now continue to beef up, perhaps spreading it out to fit the Three-Act Structure, which is something else I believe I’ve mentioned here but can’t be too sure.
One last thing I might note is my hopes for the rest of this year of writing. I’m still hoping to have a first draft complete by the end of the year, but I am also thinking about what I will do for NaNoWriMo. Since I just read Stars Above, I’m really liking the idea of writing short stories relevant to my novel. Last year my old writing advisor Karen recommended I do a collection of short stories for NaNoWriMo, as opposed to a novel. I think this is because it’s a lot easier to sell a short story than a novel. But I can see other benefits to this as well, which I may go into in a separate post next month.
But as far as my novel goes, I think I would like to end the year with a first draft totaling at least 75,000 words. So that’s about 25,000 words September, October, and December (saving November for my short story idea for NaNoWriMo).
It sounds pretty ambitious right now. Especially as my housing situation is still so uncertain and I don’t know how regularly I can begin to write, even knowing what skeleton of my story is. I also still need to work on world-building and developing the magic system of my story before I jump in. I am hoping to start writing soon though, even if it’s all out of order right now.
Sorry if this is all just an incomprehensible mess! I just knew I wanted to share where I’m at with my story right now. I’m also sorry that I don’t feel comfortable releasing much more information about my story at this time. Once it feels more set in stone, I’m sure I’ll come up with an official summary I can share. I would like to share participating in some writing memes, as well, to release some more story details in a less formal way.
I’m also thinking about what I’d like to do for posts leading up to NaNoWriMo. I have some resources I could share, but I do need to figure out how to do so. It’s something I will thinking about leading up to October. I’d like it to be some sort of series, so my goal is start planning more helpful advice/writing tips posts ahead of time.
Tomorrow morning I will be posting my first Bout of Books 17.0 daily blog which will cover my reading progress and school happenings over the week. As I write this, I have about 1.5 hours until my first class, so I’m about to head to campus! I hope you enjoyed this special update and I can’t wait to have more to share.