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The Month of Plotting and Planning October 11, 2010

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
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November is creeping closer. Of course this means- National Novel Writing Month. This will be my ninth ‘season’ of Nanowrimo. I have crossed the finish line all eight times previous. And by gum it feels good saying that.

This year I have the grand finale book for my current science fiction series. I have put some implied pressure on myself, I must admit. It’s the end of a series! It has to go out with a bang! Last book I thew a space station into a planet. How will I top that? How will I bring to a satisfying close this series, these characters I like and enjoy and have journeyed with. I have created a history, a family, for these characters. And now I am ending it for them.

Questions arise. Firstly, how long should the book be. Last year I nudged 80 000 words. But for THE END, should it be bigger better and badder? Do I kill off the hero? Some of his friends? Would it be more satisfying to leave the bad guy alive? Or kill him in a dramatic shoot out? Things to consider.

And I do this during October. I leave all my plotting and planning to the month before. I have done this a few times now and quite like the process. I Grab old characters, figure out the story, create new characters I would like, new situations. All in the month prior to actually writing, so I am familiar yet fresh with the idea, as opposed to thinking of the idea, and letting it sit and become slightly stale.

The way I plan novels is what I want to see happen. Big events that NEED to happen for the story to work. And then I get my characters from point to point in whatever way I see fit. A little bit of structure, a little bit of chaos.

This year I need Group A, who just blew up a lot of stuff and took a prisoner, to reunite with the Mercenary Leader.

I need Group B, who witnessed the space station crashing into the planet, to reunite with Group A, and have a heartfelt, tear jerking reunion over the loss of their captain, and then become steely and resolved to get revenge.

I need an epic space battle with the combined forces of the Mercenaries and the Pirates, and I need it to fail.

I need the OH MY GOD moment of said captain coming back from the dead, with an awesome new ally.

I need this awesome new ally to combine the left-over forces of the mercenaries and the pirates, and guide them on how to truly defeat the corporate bad guy.

I need say, ten mini adventurers in showing how to defeat the bad guys, and my characters to be involved with one of them.

I need the final confrontation with the three original characters, and the corporate bad guys who started this whole thing off.

And I need a resolution that satisfies me.

Then the fluffy ending.

That’s what, 8 actual events with 10 mini events? Okay, so now I am going to go away and throw my creative juices on to these needs and see what I come up with.

Some of them will write themselves. The first couple, Group A & B meeting up and being sad? That will happen. The epic space battle? Beside a set-up, it should write itself. Explosions, death and destruction. Ship boarding, and then the chaotic attempt at a retreat.

The rest? Well, I have some ideas, which I will write down. But who know what may happen when I actually get there in the book? I am quite excited to find out.

More plotting and planning updates soon….

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