What’s scarier than Halloween? The fact that Nanowrimo starts tomorrow and you’ve just committed to writing 50,000 words in 30 days.
Never fear. I’ve got a plan and we’re going to slay this mofo. You’ve done your basic story planning already – you know what you’re going to write.
Now it’s time for WORDS.
Week 1 = Act One
Act One of your story covers approx the first 25%. It’s the set-up. The before. The world from which your protagonist/s are soon going to get sucked out of. It’s nice and safe (but not boring!).
From your planning, you have a rough idea of your opening scene and what messy interesting stuff is going to splat onto the pages.
You also know the transition scene that takes your protag/s into Act 2A.
Let’s make it easy on ourselves. We know we have to write 1667 words per day. Let’s make each of those days a chapter. So Day 1 = Chapter 1.
Chapter 1 might be one long scene or two or three shorter ones. Doesn’t matter. 1667 is all you need to focus on hitting.
Stuck? Here’s a good basic roadmap.
Day/Chapter 1 – Intro main protag with a hook. They need to be their ‘before’ selves, but they also need to be interesting (or in an interesting situation). Don’t be boring. In fact, this scene is one of your most important. That’s why I had you brainstorm it earlier. Reel that
sucker reader in.
Day/Ch 2 – Intro the other characters. If it’s a romance, this will be your meet-cute so we get to see the other half (unless your meet-cute was in Chapter 1 which can totally work too).
Day/Ch 3 – Someone suggests a change for our protag. Maybe a friend. Or a mentor. Or the chatty guy at the coffee stand. Doesn’t matter. Protag wants to be good but doesn’t think THAT suggestion is right for them.
Day/Ch 4 – Protag is dead against any change in their life. Dig those high heels in. Add a big action set. It’s midway through Act 1. Have fun with it.
Day/Ch 5 – Oh shit. Whatever protag did in Chapter 4 has seriously f’d up the nice safe life they had. They want to fix it. They attempt to. And, hell no, it didn’t work.
Day/Ch 6 – In fact. It might have just made things worse. You see, protag has seen that possibly, maybe, sort of, the suggestion friend/mentor made in Ch 3 might actually be what they need to do. Not that they want to. But they might try it. Reluctantly. Just to see …
Day/Ch 7 – Break into Act 2. This is the chapter that will drag your characters into the upside down. No not Stranger Things (by the way – how good is Season 2! – OMFG!), but your characters new world. Doesn’t have to be a literal new world of course, but it’s got to be different to their nice safe existence. You’ve already planned this scene out. You’ve made it big and memorable. End the week on a big fun high note (and then get back to writing.)
Congrats. You’ve just written the first draft of Act 1. You should have about 11669 words – give or take.
Go have a nice cold bevvy.
Until next week,