Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NaNo. . . and Here We Go

After a debacle over my Golden Heart status, i.e. I’m published therefore cannot compete in the awards this year, (my life should be so horrible, really) I’ve decided to put the rough draft of current WIP, now marinating WIP, on the shelf and start outlining a new idea for National Novel Writing Month in November. I’m sure all my followers are well versed in this ridicules ritual we writers seem to feel the need to enter, but in case anyone is new to the sport, check out the NaNo WriMo info here.

When He gives you lemon, make Lemon Drop Martinis I say. If you remember all the way back to April, I taught a workshop on outlining the first draft. Well, I’ve learned a few tricks since then and I’ll share as I go along.

The first is a throw-back to my education days. I needed a simple and quick reference for all the info I forget while writing. What was that guy’s name again? What street was their house on? Green eyes or blue? With the goal of 50K in 30 days there is no time to search back through my 40+ page outline for these little details. Instead I create a fact folder.

This picture isn’t great, but you get the idea. Start at the bottom of a cheap file folder. Write each character’s name, setting, plot points, anything you will need to reference quickly on the bottom of an index card. I like the colored ones. From the bottom of the folder moving up, tape each card down so the title at the bottom shows.

When you’re done, you have a flip chart if facts, and a folder to keep all your extras in. As you can see from mine, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Happy writing ya’ll


  1. What a great idea, Ann! I might use it for Shattered to keep all my facts straight. And best of luck with NaNo!

  2. Thanks, Jennie. I'd love to know how it works for you. I live by it both in the classroom and when writing.