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Favorite method for plotting your Nano?

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Favorite method for plotting your Nano?
« on: September 28, 2014, 12:29:07 AM »
I didn't take part last year, but this year I'm planning to try again- I usually get to the half-way mark and give up. Plotting is always my downfall, so I'm curious, for those who are taking part in nano this year, what's your favorite method to keep track of your plot? I recently found realtimeboard, but I haven't quite figured out how to put it to use yet.

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Somariel

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Re: Favorite method for plotting your Nano?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2014, 03:22:57 AM »
I've only done NaNo three times, but the one time I actually passed 50K words was the time I used an outline helper that someone had posted on the NaNo forums. I have a blank copy saved to my computer if you want to take a look at it (it's an Excel spreadsheet). Just drop me a PM with your email.

This year is going to be somewhat interesting in terms of plotting. Since I'm planning on writing the MKR/AtLA fusion I have a thread for in Anata Ga Oshiete Kureta, plotting is largely going to be deciding how things deviate from AtLA canon because of how the personalities of the MKR characters differ from the AtLA characters they are taking the place of.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 03:27:44 AM by Somariel »
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Re: Favorite method for plotting your Nano?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2014, 12:36:11 PM »
Blood sacrifice, usually
Should have wished for unicorns.

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Re: Favorite method for plotting your Nano?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2014, 03:11:23 PM »
Blood sacrifice, usually

That is a full proof method, but kinda messy.


I've only done NaNo three times, but the one time I actually passed 50K words was the time I used an outline helper that someone had posted on the NaNo forums. I have a blank copy saved to my computer if you want to take a look at it (it's an Excel spreadsheet). Just drop me a PM with your email.

This year is going to be somewhat interesting in terms of plotting. Since I'm planning on writing the MKR/AtLA fusion I have a thread for in Anata Ga Oshiete Kureta, plotting is largely going to be deciding how things deviate from AtLA canon because of how the personalities of the MKR characters differ from the AtLA characters they are taking the place of.

I'll send you my e-mail~ Sounds like a cool crossover, though, even if it might be hard- the complexities of crossovers are always really hard to figure out, and really fun to read XD So I hope you'll post it somewhere after? I'm doing a non-MKR fic, since I'm new to MKR, and already had a plot picked out...

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suzanami

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Re: Favorite method for plotting your Nano?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2014, 04:14:36 PM »
the plot is also the hardest part for me!  what usually works best for me is to, once I have a general idea of how I want the story to go, sit down and do a loose outline, just the very major arcs, and it's usually less than a page.  sort of plan the intro, rising action, climax, those things. 

then after letting that sit with me for a bit while I think about things, I open a word document and write a summary.  not so much an outline but paragraphs.  imagine you're talking to someone and they asked you to tell them everything that happens in your story, from beginning to end.  you're not going to narrate every detail but you'll mention all the important points!  I use a really conversational tone when writing these summaries because it feels more organic, less cold and lifeless than a rigid outline and more like a first go at telling the story. 
it lets me go into a lot more or less detail in some places - there were fights/battles/action scenes in my last one, and with some I knew the basic structure of how they should go, and for others, I simply wrote "there is a battle here and this person gets hurt".  I made each paragraph to be a chapter.  it looked like this. (I divided my story into three arcs but that's just me :p)

here's one example, and this is meant to take up a whole chapter (4500-5000 words or so for this project).  so obviously there are smaller scenes that don't get mentioned here (I usually make those up as I feel they're necessary) as well as internal monologuing and all that stuff that takes care of pacing and such :p

Quote
On her run the next day a crow is following.  It's Donal.  He perches and they talk.  He asks her to reconsider and to keep an eye out for others her age who can help.  She doesn't know how she'll recognize them but agrees.  Two days later, she gives Cass Bronte a ride.  Cass says something that makes Dawn's hair stand on end and she can't stop thinking about it.  Realizes Cass is one of the kids Donal was talking about.  She talks with Alba about it, who gets very excited.  Dawn isn't as enthusiastic.

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Re: Favorite method for plotting your Nano?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2014, 10:07:59 PM »
I'm still looking for a plotting method which works for me. (After - umpteen years? ALAS). Normally if I'm writing something long, I start getting ~important~ scenes a while before I start writing properly (important for plot sometimes, but also character interaction or world-building stuff instead quite often?) and poke at the ideas in my head until I generally have an idea of the beginning and the end.

Then normally I start writing - and fill in stuff in the middle of the plot as it comes to me, which is erratic and leads to lots of later editing?

The one fully-plotted thing I've ever written (which I'm now having to rewrite the start of because I got the focus on the wrong characters for the first third given the themes of the climax, oops) where I actually had a plan for the whole BEFORE starting, I did with a paragraph for each chapter/section, which was about 5000 words on average, pretty similar to Suz's way only less talkative, and with any bits of dialogue I already knew noted down in it.

I find it helpful to stop everysooften and re-outline what I've already written, too - usually on post-it notes or something. And when I'm starting a chapter I'll usually write out a line or two for each scene and then stare at them until I think they're in the right order. ...With the really complex things (also long chapters - so, for Protecting You, where I'm currently writing the last few chapters and tying up the story PLUS setting up sequels and the chapters are 7000-13000 words long each time) I'll put down the things which need to happen on post its and then order them so I can work out where the best break in the chapter looks like it'll be and make sure I move things so I've got a reasonable amount of content in each?

...Post-its are really useful! But also really easy to lose. I like sticking them inside a big notebook so I can move them about but don't lose any?

When I do manage to outline I try to make sure that each chapter is doing ~something~ for the emotional plot and the ~action~(...or political) plot, and if there are any plots running sub to the main plotline for the moment which are going to take over later on I try to work at least one thing into each for them, even if it's a throw-away line or something, to try to keep the twists from feeling artificial? Which normally takes scribbling on whatever bit of paper is to hand... just a bulletpoint of what events/scenes are doing what work so I can see if I need to pull anything extra in, or if I've got too much of one thing than another.

(The last chapter of Protecting You really, reaaaaaaaally fails at doing enough things but I excused it on the basis it's the main climax of the emotional plot, which is in fact the whole point of the fic, and comes out of the aftermath of the ~apparent *cackles* *ahem*~ climax and wrap-up of the main action plot, and MENTIONS a lot of stuff...) (PY is ridiculously poorly plotted. Literally lost all my notes and had to replot it twice. It was meant to be a short amusing nano I wrote without any kind of plan. THIS WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA EIGHT YEARS LATER I AM STILL REGRETTING THE UNPLANNED NATURE OF THE BEGINNING)

Basically my plotting is very badly organised. XD

I may have to try blood sacrifices next...