Happy Halloween, y’all! And what a special Halloween it is. Why? Because this October 31st brings with it the third Mercury Retrograde of the year. That’s right, Mercury begins its apparent moonwalk just as All Hallows’ Eve kicks off and Nanowrimo season begins. But fear not! With a little prep work, we’ll be well on our way to writing a novel in month.
Happy fall! We’re only 9 days into the month of October, but a lot of book-related things have already happened. I presented in a Nanowrimo prep event for the local library and had the pleasure of attending the wonderful Lana Ghannam’s book launch. In short, it’s been a great start to the fall season (I say fall, but I live in Florida. It’s been a mild 81 degrees today 🌅.)
Anywho, there’s one other writing event to celebrate this month: I finished my novel outline!
The “final” stats are:
Hello! It’s only October, but Nanowrimo season will be here before you know it (in four weeks, actually. Yikes/yay!) In preparation for Nanowrimo, I had the pleasure of giving a workshop on developing your main character. I promised the folks in attendance that I’d post the PowerPoint, so here’s me making good on that promise.
Hello! Remember that time long, long ago when I said I was going to write a novel outline? And that I would post about said novel outline on Tuesday, September 24th? Well, today’s September 24th. And I’ve written a novel outline—more or less.
Howdy!* In my last post, I spoke briefly about two categories of writers: pantsers and plotters. I didn’t go into much detail, but I did drop a link to Jane Friedman’s wonderful blog. To be brief: a plotter tends to enjoy structure (i.e. writes a novel outline) while a pantser tends to enjoy discovery (i.e. writes what comes to mind). As with most things, there will be overlap, so these definitions aren’t all encompassing.
Despite being the most Virgo of Virgos in almost every other way (from my love of spreadsheets/lists to my love of order), I’m 70% a pantser. I’ve always written out of order, jotting down scenes and sections as they come. Don’t get me wrong. I always know the general plot, and I spend a lot of time getting to know the characters/researching before I begin writing scenes. But I’ve never been one to know scene by scene what’s coming.
When I started my most recent project, I made a promise to write freely and openly in July and August. In fact, the goal was to avoid plotting wherever possible (in favor of getting words/ideas on the page). But it’s September now and, in the spirit of doing something both anti- and pro-Virgo**, I’ve decided to set a different goal for myself: write a novel outline.