Lyla Campbell

I'll be back with a poppin' fresh new blog post in 72 hours, give or take a nanosecond. I'm in the homestretch of this licensure thing I've been wrestling with! In the meantime I wanted to share another of my fave posts with you from when I first started blogging back in Fall 09:

So, your main character has been asking you where to go and what to do. At this point you have a choice as to which NaNoWriMo path to take. Option 1: Approach your writing like driving at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you will be able to make it all the way home. Using this school of thought, jump into NaNoWriMo with nothing more than that "glimmer of a story line." Fly by the seat of your pants and let the characters help you unfold the plot day by day. I used this first option last year and I did make it to the finish line. So yes, it is possible.

Option 2: Plan out your plot. This is the option I'm trying out this year. If you want to play fast and loose, a simple outline will suffice for guidance as you trudge through November. However, if you are in need of more structure, creating a road map of how your character's paths and the story line weave in and out might be the right option for you. Over the past few days I've been working on mapping the layout of my plot. Here are some of the websites I've come across in my quest to inject more juice into my story:

  • This one is from an earlier post but I wanted to mention it again all the's just that good. For those of the nerd persuasion (like me) who are attempting NaNoWriMo this year. The snowflake method provides lots and lots of structure for building up your story.

  • If I've lost my direction and need some inspiration for where to take the story next I like to look through a magazine at the photos and ads for inspiration. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. And who wouldn't love another grand added to their word count?

  • Similarly to the above bullet point, when I'm stuck I also like to read a short story to get my imagination back on track.

  • This website is a compilation of eight plot thickening tips.

  • Keep a pocket sized notebook and pen with you where ever you go. Ideas for your plot can hit you at anytime and you'll need to write them down before the fade away in to the fog of your mind. I don't know about you, but mine is pretty thick and foggy most of the time.

  • One thing I learned from the NaNoWriMo experience last year is you can plan, and parse and mull over your story line as much as you want, but you can't write out your novel in your head. You have to get it out from between your ears and into your computer, onto paper, or clay tablet, which ever is your preferred method of scribing. It's absolutely necessary to make room for the next generation of plot bunnies to sprout.

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