NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing

Gentlemen (and ladies,) we have a NaNoWriMo novel outline!

For the first time ever in my writing career, I have developed a full and complete outline for a novel (shocking, I know.) How many times have I just sat down and started writing without giving much thought to where I am taking my characters? At least as many times as I have abandoned manuscripts in drawers and on hard drives, that’s for sure! But I want to be really prepared for NaNoWriMo, so I decided yesterday to do a little research and remind myself of the story structure lessons I learned when I took my novel writing class a few semesters ago.

In my research, I found the following video on storyboarding from Mary Carroll Moore, an award-winning author and master writing instructor:

The “W Storyboard structure” Moore details in her video was tremendously helpful. I had already decided on the characters I wanted to use for my NaNoWriMo novel, and even had a short story written about them. But I need to decide on an appropriate conflict to set my story in motion and then determine the trajectory of the story. 

NaNoWriMo Participant Badge for 2011My next step was to create on outline using the Three Act Structure. Now, I learned all of this stuff in my novel writing class, so don’t ask my why I’m just now putting it into practice. If I had done this before, I may have actually finished a novel by now. Anyway, I just sat down and mapped out my entire novel in just a few minutes, and I feel so accomplished! Bring it on, NaNoWriMo!

~Mandy Webster

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5 thoughts on “Gentlemen (and ladies,) we have a NaNoWriMo novel outline!”

  1. This writing with structure…it sounds intriguing! I might have to watch this video when I get home from work and try putting it to use.

    While I took a bunch of writing classes in my college days I never took a novel writing class. I imagine it would have made a lot of the difficulties I have had with preparation go away.

    I like the idea of writing a short story for each of the major characters prior to writing the novel. I might have to steal that one if you don’t mind. It may just solidify them in my mind.

    Man, if all of your blog posts are this useful I will be here all the time!

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