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  • Writer's pictureNancy Pirner Writer

Prepping for NaNoWriMo- outlining

This year for NaNoWriMo I plotted which is new for me. I also did Prep-tober as well. I made an outlining style I can really use effectively, taking several styles and merging them into one time-frame. Here what I did:  First ask all the questions such as :

1. Plot of story

2. Dramatic Question-What do the main characters want?

3. 1st barrier/ set-up -What's stopping them from getting what they want?

4. Conflict -  how can they solve this barrier?

5. 2nd dramatic question - What do they want to do about the situation?

6. BIG Barrier- what's stopping them from solving the situation?

7.  Epiphany- What do they discover that will change the outcome?

8. Showdown/ Conflict/ lowest point do they give up or keep going forward?

9. Climax- do they win or lose?

10. Resolution- what happens now?

Then I add in the Act 1, Act 2, Act 3  dividing all the above questions into the parts of the story they belong in giving a rough timeline for the story. Once that is in place I write out any scenes I want to have in the story. Also dividing them into their proper order.

Once enough scenes are mapped out I start with making chapters adding all the above into their new order. Having all these styles into one document,  I can add, delete or move them around making the outline constantly growing. My outline is never done until the draft is completed. I add and change as the story develops updating it after every chapter to stay on track.

So my outline is all styles of traditional outlining combined. 

Only when my draft is complete I have a complete outline with all the major plot points in the proper order so I can use for rewriting the next drafts or later for more books in the series.

It's easy to forget just when the main character does what, or when something happened. Having a detailed outline with all the details at my fingertips, so I don't lose my flow when writing.

I hope this helps, try it out, maybe you don't like the standard outline layout then change it, make it work for you. I did. So far I've hit every one of my NaNoWriMo goals. I can see myself with a complete 1st draft, with 75K words. As of today, I have 32, 511 words. I credit my prepping an outline for all the success.

 Write On!!!!

NancyPirner Writer

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