It’s Day 5 of Camp NaNoWriMo, friends. This is my third round as a participant. The previous two camps, I’ve spent the month drafting a novel and soaking up the support from fellow campers and writers!
I planned to use this month for another round of drafting, but after hitting a bit of a speed bump in my current WIP, I’m releasing “Because of India” into the hands of beta readers for the month of July (keep an eye out for a blog post about incorporating beta reader feedback!).
So, what’s my Camp NaNo project this month?
PLOTTING A NEW NOVEL!
That’s right, I said it. PLOTTING.
I’ve always been a panster. I don’t remember doing any plotting ahead of time for any of my short stories/novellas/novels in my eight years of being a writer.
But you’ve heard it from the main source, friends. I’m plotting my next novel, a new adult paranormal mystery.
I’ve had so much fun working with this idea so far and I can’t wait to dive into the first draft. Unfortunately, this may not be happening until the actual NaNoWriMo in November, since I’ll be putting so much work into “Because of India” in the next few months.
With that said, like most novel ideas, it all started with a baby plot bunny. After weeks of it hopping around in my head and growing into its full-size, I decided to catch it.
Today, I’m going to show you how.
Let’s get started!
1. Do a Freewrite
The first step to catching your plot bunny is to lure it into its cage. For our purpose, this can be accomplished by doing a freewrite. Just start by recording every observation you have about it.
Even if you have an idea in mind that may not fit into the skeleton of your story, write it down! You may be surprised as to how you could incorporate it.
2. Bring your setting to life
There are several ways you can approach this. Whether your setting is entirely fictional or based on a real place, it’s helpful to describe the details of your setting on paper (or on whatever you prefer).
For example, my setting is based on a real place that I’m only vaguely familiar with. This required me to do research on the place and flesh out the details in my head.
Even if your setting is fictional, this step is still very necessary. If you’re not familiar with the planet or mythical forest in which your characters live, then it won’t be believable for your reader.
3. Get to know your characters
There are sooooooooo many resources out there that allow you to get to know your characters inside and out, but try to keep it simple for the time being.
All you really need to know for right now is your character’s name, role in the story, physical description, personality type, etc. Detailed in brief. You’ll have plenty of time to fill out the character questionaries once your plot bunny is fully domesticated.
4. Do your research
As writer’s, we are lifelong learners. But right now, most of us can admit that we don’t know everything. This is where research comes in! If there’s anything about your idea that needs to be clarified before you can move forward, do a quick google search and jot it down.
As an example, my novel idea requires some knowledge of the 1920’s. Other than reading and watching The Great Gatsby one thousand times over, I’m not an expert.
Research, my friends. Get it done.
5. Organize with a mind map
A mind map can be super helpful when trying to visualize your idea and how the details are interconnected. This will help you organize everything into one place, too.
Start with your central theme or topic in the center and start making connections!