Preptober #1: Sixteen days to go

Just like there’s no one right way to do Nanowrimo, there’s no one right way to prepare for it. There are checklists, prompts, and worksheets available, but I’ve worked out a method of my own to get ready this year.

This year’s Nanowrimo project is my third attempt to write a music-based romance: Continuo, the story of a cellist named William and a music producer named Oisin. I’ve always gotten stuck about 10,000 words in. This year, though, I’ve made a plan, and have spent October refining it.

I started with Dan Harmon’s Story Circle. This lets me see the main beats of the story, from the approach of Orderly World -> Chaotic World -> New World. Since Continuo is a romance, I made a circle for both William and Oisin so I could see their character arcs separately, and then one for the two of them together to see where their arcs conflict and intertwine.

With the general beats in place, I then worked out a 7 Plot Point Structure outline. This lets me see the actual events and actions that lead to the emotional beats, and their consequences. So now I know why William and Oisin (and the secondary characters) do what they do, and the consequences that result.

I’ve been jotting down ideas for scenes for months, so I collected them into a notebook in GoodNotes, my new favorite note-taking app, along with notebooks for William and Oisin’s character notes, research, and flashbacks that may or may not appear in the actual story. I’ve also been making a Mood board on Pinterest, and a playlist. That’s just in iTunes: I may share it on Spotify later. It’s a lot of cello music, including classical quartet covers of pop and metal songs (classical quartets love Metallica), and songs that fit the story thematically. I visited one of the locations last year, so I’ve made a notebook of my photos for more visual inspiration.

The Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, CA.

Still to do: face casting for secondary and minor characters, more research, and deciding on which writing app to use. That will probably be the subject next time.

Good luck to all participating!

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