NaNo: My Plotting Problem

I will not panic about how much planning I have yet to do.

I will not!

Really, though. I’ve solved a major problem in my planning when I realized something.

My biggest problem is that I already know the plot.

I know that my character is just spinning her wheels and chasing dead ends throughout X and Y scenes. I know that the game-changer is just around the corner and that her big moments are on the way.

And yet those holes in my beat sheet are showing me that this isn’t enough. My character is a whole lot more desperate than that. Sure, I know she’ll find the killer at the dramatic showdown approximately 72 hours later, but she doesn’t. And she is absolutely terrified of failing!

The character I built wouldn’t just wait around for the next plot twist to happen. She wouldn’t cross her fingers and hope she’ll trip over the murderer’s feet while navel-gazing and wandering in circles.

So that’s my project for today. I’m peeling away all the plot-to-come and just focusing on what my character knows and has available to her at each scene. It sounds so silly, how could I have missed something so completely obvious until right now, but writing is funny that way. I’ve put so much effort into making sure she has a hard time of things that I’ve neglected what she can actually do for herself, and what would make sense for her to do in the context of what’s happened so far.

How about you? Don’t panic, we still have 2 weeks left to plan. What are you doing today to make sure your story has plenty of meat on the bones?

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4 Responses to NaNo: My Plotting Problem

  1. M. Howalt says:

    Hi, I was searching for NaNoWriMo related posts on WordPress and came across your blog. πŸ™‚
    Interesting problem. I hope it will work out for you. πŸ™‚
    I know from previous years that my stories tend to get much longer than the 50K (two years ago, I realised I’d only managed first part of a trilogy in 50K, and last year I had to skip a few scenes to get to the end at 70K), so this year I’m really just letting my protagonists loose. If all else fails, they all have back stories that I can get into.

    • barb says:

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I think I said in a previous post that I was writing only writing a 50k story. The thing is, I had pre-posted some of these links back in August when I thought that was the plan. I’ve changed my mind, and my story (projecting about 90k, which sounds kinda daunting right now). I’m going to make my goal to hit the 50k mark in November and finish up in December… Oh, but this is me rambling. I hope your protagonists do some wild and crazy things in November! I’ll be rooting for them! πŸ™‚

  2. Bill Chance says:

    I have done NanoWriMo four times but only finished once. The times I failed I wrote myself into a corner – my plot ran into a dead end that I couldn’t write my way out of. This is the first year I’m doing extensive pre-planning, we’ll se how that goes.

    Good luck and good writing.

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