It’s that time of year again, when Nanowrimo is just 16 days away and it’s time to begin preparing for that month long marathon of crafting the worst prose ever conceived one day at a time for 30 days until I reach 50,000 words. It’s like Christmas for writers, and those who have participated in it before know exactly what I mean. The same sensation of eager anticipation mingled with the feeling of expectation, and a healthy sprinkling of “I can’t believe it’s really here” alongside of “I can’t believe I’m crazy enough to do this!” This year, it’s even more exciting for me because I have signed up to be a NanoWriMo Municipal Liason for Elsewhere, Nevada – that’s every place in Nevada that isn’t Reno or Las Vegas, which means a very broad segment of Nevada.
This is my first year doing that, and I’m thrilled and at the same time quite nervous about it. However, in honor of the occasion I thought I would share with you my preparation for this year’s Nano. I usually don’t do much planning out of what I am going to write. Last year, I wrote an outline. It didn’t really work out that well. I got to the 50,000 words, but I never actually gave it an ending. I considered dusting it off and polishing it up using the techniques I have learned since then, but I decided to start from scratch with a brand new novel. One that I’d been vaguely pondering writing for some time.
This year, I’m going to be applying the techniques I’m putting together for my Revised & Updated How to Write an eBook in 40 Days (or less). After all, there’s no better way to test the content you are writing than to put it into action? I started my planning during my lunch break and here’s what I was able to accomplish in just 55 minutes.
1. Book Blurb Start: 12:15 pm End: 12:21 pm Total time: 6 minutes
A grieving widow wrestles with guilt and takes an unexpected journey to healing.
A grieving widow seeks freedom from her husband’s ghost
A grieving widow’s quest to be rid of her husband’s ghost takes her on an unexpected journey.
A grieving widow wrestles with guilt and finds healing on an unexpected journey.
I liked the last sentence and decided to go with it. Yes, in case you are wondering, this follows my book blurb formula. (You can get a free copy of my book blurb recipe just by signing up for my free newsletter).
2. Book Blueprint Start: 12:21 pm End 12:32 pm Total Time: 11 minutes
Act I. A grieving widow attempts suicide after months of being haunted by visions of her deceased husband.
Act II. Her court-ordered therapist sends her on a journey to confront her guilt by confronting her past.
Act III. She reluctantly goes, hoping to free herself from the visions that still plague her.
Act IV. She meets a man and finds herself falling madly in love, but the guilt drives her to run from it.
Act V. Feeling her journey has been a disaster, she turns toward home but a life-threatening accident leads to her healing.
3. Main Character Overview Start: 12:32 pm End: 12:56 pm Total time: 24 minutes
Name: Kathleen Elizabeth Stockton
Goal: to escape her husband’s ghost
Motivation: to feel happy again
Conflict: She doesn’t feel that she deserves happiness
Epiphany: No one truly deserves happiness, it’s a gift received from love.
Storyline: A newspaper reporter struggles to put her life back together after her husband’s sudden death.
Act I. After a failed suicide attempt, a newspaper journalist begins attending court mandated therapy.
Act II. Her therapist orders her to take a journey to confront her past after she admits to being haunted by her husband’s ghost.
Act III. She reluctantly agrees and sets out on her journey.
Act IV. She meets her husband’s childhood best friend and finds herself falling in love, but her husband’s ghost drives her away.
Act V. She tries to return home but ends up in a life-threatening accident that leads to a forgiveness she never expected to receive.
4. Shape Shifter Overview Start: 12:56 pm End: 1:10 pm Total time: 14 minutes
Name: Michael James “M&M” Martin
Goal: To free his wife from guilt so she can find happiness
Motivation: He wants her to be able to remember him with love, not fear.
Conflict: His ability to communicate with her is limited to her dreams and her guilt is a barrier to her ability to hear him.
Epiphany: She must want to let go of the guilt first.
Storyline: A recent convert struggles to help his wife from beyond the grave.
Act I. When his wife attempts suicide, he fights to keep her alive.
Act II. Frustrated by failures to reach her, he attempts to get through to the therapist and succeeds.
Act III. Knowing where her journey will lead, he reaches out to his friends for help.
Act IV. His childhood best friend connects with his wife and the two are attracted, but Katie’s guilt drives a wedge between them and Michael realizes it will take drastic measures to save her.
Act V. Michael has his chance to help a dying Katie find a reason to live when an accident nearly takes her life by helping her to let go of her past so she can embrace her future.
Amazing results for an hour
I’ll be posting more of my planning sessions as I go through the work of creating this book, and I’ll let you peek under the hood with me so you can see how things go.