I’ve just been reading this: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell, and it’s kind of helping with the first draft of Bad Jean, although I know it will come into its own when I’m editing it. I’m definitely what he calls a NOP (No Outline Person), but I really like his analysis of structure and how it can work just by keeping it in the back of your mind while writing.
My one problem is that, after reading this, I am having to work double hard at pushing my internal editors away as I write, and that tends to hinder the free flow of the story. The internal editing committee keep shouting at me ‘where’s the conflict in this scene? What’s your character’s objective?’ and I have to shout ‘Piss off’ very loudly. Having said that, those questions are useful, and so long as you don’t let them obliterate all developments (I have to remember that I will rewrite this for the next draft, and conflict, objective and structure can be added or ramped up then), they can open new doors that you wouldn’t have even noticed. Since starting last week, my characters are already surprising me, and I have changed the initial thoughts I had about the story completely.
It’s a great workbook, and one I would recommend heartily to all writers.
So it’s all going well. I’ve signed up officially for NaNoWriMo, although I am cheating a bit, starting early. But my personal target is 100,000 words by 15 December (it makes me feel exhausted even to think about it) so I’ve got to get ahead. I’m currently 10k in, and on day 6, so on target, just about.