When I came across this checklist, it was billed as NaNoWriMo prep. “Do these things and you’ll be ready to rock.” Admittedly, that’s why I’m doing them right now but if they are good prep for NaNoWriMo then they are good prep to write a novel. Period. So what is on this amazing checklist? I’m going to just touch on each of these points and then go into detail in other posts.
- Write your premise sentence. The premise is a summary of what your novel is about. It goes beyond the bare bones concept to include a bit about the protagonist, their general situation and what they are working on before they get sucked into whatever your story is about. As if all of that wasn’t enough, you have to include your protagonist, what disaster gets the plot moving and the conflict between these two characters. I’ve already blogged about the premise here.
- Work with your characters. I’ve already started this in my scrapbook. I know how they look and how they dress. I know some of what they like. I have some backstory. I did not do detailed interviews. I should address that and I’ll write another post on characters when I do. I also need to consider the character arc for each one.
- Work with your plot. You are going to have to make sure you’ve addressed any plot holes, added a few twists so that your story isn’t business and usual and identified all of your plot points from the inciting incident to the climax.
- Details your plot. It isn’t enough to know vaguely what is going on. Before you start writing, you will need an outline composed of all of the scenes that get your from one plot point to another. Yep. Scenes. You may need 3 scenes to address one plot point.
- Explore your settings. When we plow through a novel manuscript, it is easy to slight the setting and leave your characters wondering around some place that is a bit gray and amorphous. Avoid this by exploring your setting ahead of time Some writers create setting folders. I’m doing this in my scrapbook, colleting images for each setting.
It sure looks like a lot of work, doesn’t it? But I’m fairly confident that once it is done, I will be ready to write that novel.