Countdown to NaNoWriMo: T-4 days

With just 4 days before NaNoWriMo 2010 begins, my outline got an overdue boost last night from an exercise we did at our Arlington Writers Group meetup.  The exercise focused on thinking outside the box.  We had to bring some kind of problem with us, and my problem was that the overall plot didn’t have enough at stake; that there wasn’t enough tying the backbone of the story together.  I think I managed to get that part worked out last night, thanks in large part to the exercises we did.  I added about 1,000 words to the outline, and the first part of the novel (there are 4 parts all together) is now outlined in detail.  Even better, I can start tying this overarching theme into the rest of the novel outline, and it now makes so much more sense even on multiple levels.

Between now and Sunday, I’m also working on taking the outline and creating “scenes” in Scrivener and assigning scenes to days of the month so that I have a good idea of what I will work on, at least for that first week or two of NaNo.  And I’m identifying a few scenes that I’m excited to write and holding them back in reserve for those days where the motivation just isn’t there.

I worked on the outline in Scrivener 2.0 last night and started making use of some of the new features.  Very nice so far.  I’m going to hold off posting on the new version in detail until after NaNoWriMo because by then, I will have abused it enough to speak about it with some authority.

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

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