Thursday, March 21, 2013


I bought books to help me learn to outline.  I was so excited to have them.  And they sit by my bedside still.  I have perused them.  I even picked up some helpful and fun tips from one of them.  But I haven't delved into them.  Yet.  I keep thinking there is no rush to do it.  If I want to write for Nano, I have until the beginning of November to put together an outline.  And besides, I don't even have a basic plot yet. 

Well, now I have committed to do Camp Nano in April.  And that is less than 2 weeks away and I haven't learned to be a planner yet!  I have the outlining program that I wrote my last story in (Ywriter).  It's an outline builder.  But I think I want to put pen to paper first and see it all laid out before me.  So I'll do it the old fashioned way.  The way we learned in high school.  If I can remember that long ago!  I will add it to ywriter if I ever end up liking what I make.  It will work great for character development.  I'll write about that program some time. Check it out if you want to in the meantime. It's a free program.

Do I need a Title first?  Well, I don't have one so I'll just call it "Title"


OK how about the 3 main ideas.  The first includes character introduction (I don't have characters yet, but most stories in my head have a main character, a main supporting character, and a villain, at least, so I'll call them MFC, MMC, and V.  It also includes a basic introduction to the setting, time, and the problem.  The second part is the rising action with events that build up to the climax  I remember a tip from somewhere that there should be 3 high tension scenes building up to the climax.  And the third is the resolution where the story ties up. I think I need a plot for all of that. 

A. Main idea 1
B. Main idea 2
C. Main idea 3

Ok, how about chapters.  I don't have a plot, so I don't have chapters.  So I'll just leave a place in the outline to fill those in. 


I can add details as I learn them, right?

A.  Main Idea 1: Introduction
     1. MFC:
        a. who she is
        b. time (what century?)
        c. place (where are we?)
     2. MMC:
         a. how does he know MFC?
     3. V
          a. what does he want (why is he a villain in the story?)
B Main Idea 2:  Body
    1. Tension scene 1
    2. Tension scene 2
    3. Tension scene 3
         a. ends in climax!
C. Main Idea 3: Resolution
    1. Tie it all together and say good bye. 
         a. cliff hanger?

Well, that isn't enough.  But isn't more than I had this morning.  I hope my High School English teacher doesn't read blogs.  I'm not sure he'd be impressed.

Camp Nano 2013

I participated in Nanowrimo in November 2012 as therapy.  It was greatly helpful to me, but not a creative experience.  I didn't want to write the story and the writing would have shown that (had it ever been read). 

A friend of mine has signed up for Camp Nanowrimo in April.  And I decided to join her.  I find myself excited to write again.  I have absolutely no idea what to write.  Camp starts in 10 days and I have only basic ideas on story line. 

There are two kinds of writers.  A "planner", who has a plot, makes an outline at the least and maybe even has some character development.  Then there is the "panster", who writes by the seat of their pants and sees where the story goes as it's written.

I tend to be a panster.  I get a basic idea of plot and main characters and then fill in the rest while the time and word count tick along.  I don't always finish the story this way.  In fact, looking back, the two years that I did "win" were years that I knew more of the outline and had an ending to shoot for.  So this year I would like to be a planner.  I'd like to have a basic outline before the clock starts ticking.  I had an idea for a story last summer.  I made some notes on it and had a few characters and their flaws figured out.  I'm going to look for those notes and maybe I'll make an outline.  It's a good place to start.  I don't have any other stories burning a hole in my mind at the moment. 

So Camp Nano is the writing challenge I craved when I last blogged.  Not sure I'm brave enough to show off the "creative" writing.  But I'm brave enough to write it again!