Every year, I post ideas of books I intend to write. Then I let readers pick the one I’ll pen for NaNoWriMo. While this might seem early to you, I do a ton of prep for NaNoWriMo so that November goes smoothly. When you are writing 50 thousand words in 30 days, you gotta make tracks! I can’t stop to ruminate on next scenes.
I have my novel planned down to the gnat’s derriere. That is not to say that all I planned is written! My characters surprise me. I need a transition scene I didn’t foresee. The ending works better another way. Still. I have a framework for the novel that keeps me keeping on.
Even committed plotter-oriented writers realize when to be pantsers and go with the story unraveling from their fingertips. The planning I do is my map to the novel. Mostly I want to stay on the freeway, but there are the inevitable blue line highways that beckon me off-road. Places of surprise and discovery.
So I take those exits off my freeway and explore the area. Sometimes those explorations lead me back to my freeway or so far afield that I find my way to a different freeway. That’s okay. There are lots of roads to Chicago. And since Chicago is my goal, I don’t really mind how I get there.
I create documents for my novel based on Holly Lisle’s techniques married to some of my own strategies. I’ll share in November what the details look like. Here are my plotting process elements for my books:
1) Write the theme in 15 or fewer words.
2) List 10 key events in the story.
3) List 1-6 sub-themes dependent on total word count I anticipate.
4) Write a story treatment. And Sister Heather’s post will help me do that better.
5) Create character sketches for each person in the novel.
6) Using the 10 key events, expand to about 40 scene note cards (give or take) with who, where, when, point of scene, and what happens.
7) Create a micro-summary of 25 words or fewer.
8) Write a one-line story arc for the protagonist.
9) Create the 250-word book blurb for the back cover of the finished novel.
I do all of that prep prior to November 1st. Each day in November I write one or more scenes until I finish all the note cards and my novel!
30 days: 1167 words per day = 11, 669 words per week = 50,010 total words. I can do this! Now help me pick the novel I will write in November. I have four books I plan to write someday. But which one will come first? Pick what you want me to write for NaNoWriMo, and I will tally votes from Twitter, Facebook, and here.
1) Sex for Sale, the sequel to Streetwalker, is an erotic romance. Carrie and Harlan are together at the beginning of the novel, having made a commitment to one another at the end of the previous book. But as Harlan is drawn further from the day-to-day operations of their brothel by his photography efforts, Carrie begins to feel neglected. She is finishing her degree in business administration and decides they need to get out of the brothel side of sex for sale and into legitimate areas. She gets sexually involved with a police detective and jeopardizes all they have built. Lauren, their former attorney, decides to strike back at Harlan’s rejection of her and works with the police to bring him down. Carrie and Harlan are fighting for both their livelihood and their freedom.
2) I Dream of Djinni is a paranormal suspense with romantic elements. My tagline for this maybe-series/maybe-single title is, “Djinni are the new vampires.” 28 year-old Gwyneth Catrin Warlow recently broke up with her long-time boyfriend. When she receives a letter from a Welsh solicitor regarding an inheritance she heads to Wales to claim the estate. It is all hers to dispose of as she wishes with the exception that she is not to touch anything in the attic. Emrys, a world-traveler, collected many things. All in the attic is to be gathered up by a mover and burned without examination. She can’t resist and uncovers an artifact that is home to a djinn, Abdul Wahid. Complicating things is Uncle Emrys who tricked the djinn into giving him partial immortality, and trouble ensues when he shows up.
3) Potluck is the third book in my culinary mystery series. Potluck is a play on words since recipes and the story line will center on medical marijuana as well as large portion dishes to take to neighborhood gatherings. Arizona and other states have medical marijuana laws so Alli and Gina whip up some pot recipes, much to Gina’s dispair. A client needs to ingest marijuana rather than inhale, and they come up with recipes for her. Alli wants to sell mixes to supplement their income because they are still struggling personal chefs. Alli re-establishes a friendship with a local medical marijuana provider, a friend from high school and his grower. When the grower ends up dead of a heroin overdose, Alli doesn’t believe it and seeks to solve the mystery. She is sure someone killed him. But is it the high school friend, a local druggie known for petty thefts, a rival provider, a doctor known for generous prescribing, or the political crook who has a lot to lose if his addiction is made public? We find out why Alli is reluctant to commit to Evan. Alli’s brother is released from prison early, and she realizes Cal is unredeemable.
4) Lost in the Woods. Blake Crouch wrote a series of paranormal/scifi/fantasy books that will be a Fox TV series in 2014 (“Wayward Pines” starring Matt Dillon). Kindle Worlds has the rights to sell fan fiction for the books/TV series through their new initiative. I’d like to take some story threads from the book series and do past events and future ones to submit to Kindle Worlds for publication. The town of Wayward Pines isn’t what it seems. You may arrive in the town, but you’ll never leave. At least not in the expected way of travelers. I plan to explore the “heartbeat” of Wayward Pines, the main character’s wife and child, and one of the watchers guarding the town.
(VOTING IS NOW CLOSED! Thank you for your wonderful support.) Vote below by leaving your pick in Comments! Deadline: October 13th 2014!