Did you prepare for NaNoWriMo? Some do and some don’t and that’s okay. Just write! As mentioned earlier, I’ve prepared but not thoroughly — just enough to know what I hope to write and enough to keep myself inspired and motiviated. Last night, just after midnight, I stayed up until 1am to write a little. I got over 400 words in. Half the time was spent making sure I had my story straight.
In the evening, I was getting nervous about not having my plot straight, worried about who really were my characters, and worried about the setting. Earlier in the day, I saw a post on one of the Facebook groups I frequent. The poster had provided some helpful worksheets for plotting, character development, and scene/world building. I went ahead and downloaded them. She had offered them for free, so I figured, I might as well give them a try. If they don’t work for me, that’s no problem. At least I gave them a try. If they do work, then I’ve found something meaningful in guiding me toward writing better and faster.
I’m glad to say, they worked in my favor. But, to be honest, I think everyone can get something out of these worksheets. I’ve been writing all my life and have my degree in writing. The majority of my classes were all about the story structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution). Even when I studied nonfiction, the same structure applied. These worksheets are simple and easy to follow. I’m not trying to advertise for the designer. I’m just really thrilled that she is offering these for free and they are exceptionally well made. The designer is also a writer. Her blog and where you can download the worksheets is, The Wonderful World of Whimsy.
The way I went about the worksheets is I printed them and read them over. Then, in Excel (because I like having everything electroncially done) I took the information from the worksheets and wrote out my outline. The reason I also do it this way is because I have one main plot and many subplots. My main character and secondary characters all have a purpose. They all have a reason for what they do. There’s a domino effect of sort. I’m writing through one main character who is compassionate and who yearns for the family life and love. She is envious of those who have it but she likes to be around those who have it so that at least she can maybe live vicariously through them until, if ever, she finds that. In order to build that type of emotion, I need more than a few lines. I break the characters’ purposes into blocks so that when or if I lose sight of who these characters are and their purpose, I can toggle to it on my computer and keep moving.
With that said, I hope you are doing NaNoWriMo. And, whether you “win” or not, at least you’ve tried. To quote Tony Robbins,
No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.