NaNoWriMo 2009 Part 2 – Progress of a Sort

I made some serious progress today and this weekend… on my Snowflake outline. No more writing done, which isn’t great, but I’m more interested in using NaNoWriMo to make sure I crank out a finished first draft than I am in meeting the 50,000 words by Nov 30 deadline. Sure I’ll still try and hit it, but if I take a week (or two) to finish up organizing the novel so that I have a clue who the characters are and how the plot flows, then I’m much happier.

Unlike in the past, I feel good that the organizing is actually product and not my typical spinning my wheels endlessly planning with no real progress. The snowflake method has worked great for me.

Early on, I lost a lot of time feeling beholden to the Snowflake structure even when it wasn’t clicking well. For example, I was still quite unsure on many of the characters, but I was ready to do the 1 page summary and delve into the flow of the story. However, I felt that I couldn’t just skip a step and it made sense that I should have some idea of the characters before the details of the plot so that those characters are pivotal to and drive the story.

So I lost a couple of weeks stumbling over forcing myself to clarify characters I didn’t have clear yet. When I finally said “screw it” and moved onto the plot, the characters then fell naturally into place as I have been fleshing out the flow of the plot. So the Snowflake has worked wonders, but I need to remember to trust my gut and ignore the structure when necessary. I’m feeling better this time around that I’m still able to avoid the endless planning even if I wind up skipping around the process a bit.

This afternoon I snuck down to the Med Student study lounge and managed to finally get a detailed flow of the plot without any “(This section needs more detail)” or “(Should I do A then B, or B then A?? If B useless?”) kinds of notes. So I’m feeling quite comfortable in the story now.

Just have to make the switch over to producing some word count now. I hope to keep detailing things and get an actual scene breakdown, but at least I have it planned well enough that I won’t have to worry about writing a few more sections and possibly throwing them away completely before I even finish the draft.

1525 / 50000 words. 3% done!


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