One thing I find helpful for NaNoWriMo is making an informal list of scenes. The key is to not get married to this list; just use it as a jumping point. I usually end up moving the order of the scenes around.
Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking of scenes:
- Think of a scene in fiction like you would a scene in a movie.
- Think of a scene as incident with a beginning, middle and ending.
- Your list can be just one word per scene or several sentences. It’s up to you.
- The writer can use one setting or several for a scene.
- Conflict is the main ingredient for the scene.
- From which character does the point-of-view for the scene need to be written?
- Personally, I find it helpful to write the entire story in scenes for the first draft. I say “scenes” as opposed to “chapters.”
- It might be helpful to ignore dividing up your first draft into chapters; write in scenes and then divide the draft up into chapters for the second draft.
- Split a scene in half when something critical or surprising happens and make this a chapter break.
- When writing, don’t feel like you have to write in chronological order; skip around. Maybe on a certain day you won’t feel like writing that steamy sex scene. Save it for later. Wink.
- You can list your scenes in whatever way works for you: index cards; Excel spreadsheet; napkin from Charlie’s Diner; maybe you just want to keep it all in your head.
- You might want to hold off on listing your scenes until you have at least your main characters thought out. As you make a list, you’ll probably keep coming up with more characters you’ll need to get the story done.
Now is the time to start making a list of scenes. I don’t know about you, but that’s when I start you get really excited about NaNoWriMo; the story begins to unfold right before you.