Yes, bad pun aside, my plan to actually plot for this year’s NaNo (a first for me for any book ;)) is coming along nicely. I’ve found that I really like playing with post-it’s and the HUGE cardboard board is a hoot too.
Ya know, those big “science fair” fold out boards? FABU for setting up my 3 act/8-sequence plot. Act 1 (seq 1 &2) is on the first flap; act 2 (seq 3-6) is on the inside (act 2 is twice as big as act one, which is why sometimes you may see it called a 4 act, instead of 3 act structure), then the last fold out is Act 3(sequence 7 &8). On the outside I have one flap of character notes, and the other flap has “Big Bad” (aka the villains) notes. All in pretty colors!
I will admit at first I was terrified- as a serious pantser, plotting like this would previously have made me run screaming for the hills. But I figure we have to grow and learn right? Nothing worse than a stale novelist! besides, I told you all I'd be trying this last week ;).
And I’m finding some perks. For instance, did you know that if you plot ahead of time you can sometimes catch glaring problems BEFORE you write them?
Shocking, I know!
I’ve already changed parts of act 1 (only part done so far) 3 times, and all I had to do was write out a new sticky note and take off the old one. No going back and deleting whole sections that no longer fit, no writing, “cut this” “fix this” or the ever lovely, “Put something better here”. Yes, I do leave notes for myself as I do drafts, and no, my future self does not like them one bit.
And crumbling up a little sticky note is far less emotionally traumatizing to my creative self as opposed to ripping out pages, and/or deleting them online.
Also, you can see a huge problem in the sections ahead before you even get to outlining them. I just had an epiphany this morning and realized I had a HUGE problem. But no worries- I can fix it with a sticky note!
My plan is to have the whole book outlined before Nov 1- then, to sit and detail that evening's writing for at least 5 minutes before each writing run.
Any of you have experiences with the 3 act structure? Like playing with sticky notes?