NaNoWriMo Day 25: Two ways to write your scene

I haven’t been writing much the last few days. I got busy with work and yesterday was Thanksgiving. I wrote a little, but I didn’t push myself.

You see, I’m on vacation until December 3, so I have the next five days to write and reach 50k. I have about 12,000 words left. That’s about 2,400 words a day. I’m very excited that I’m going to dedicate the next few days to exhausting myself writing probably more than that. I’d like to get in a 6,000 word at least one day. We’ll see.

I spent most of my NaNoWriMo this year outlining my story.

My writing process for NaNoWriMo 2022:

Step 1: Write one complete sentence summarizing each scene

Step 2: Turn each sentence into a five sentence paragraph.

Step 3: Turn each paragraph into five paragraphs.

Step 4: Turn the five paragraphs into a narrative (This is where I’m at now)

Don’t get me wrong, It was a blast. But I’m enjoying the actual writing. Thinking up the scenes in detail (steps 1-3) was way more fun than I thought it would be. But being in step four is more of the pure spirit of NaNoWriMo

Oh, by the way, I’m wearing my NaNoWriMo hoodie I ordered back in October.

It arrived the day before Thanksgiving. And I’m at my favorite coffee shop on Black Friday. Not going shopping, just shopping for the right words.

My favorite coffee shop is Heine Brothers in Northfield. I’ve been going here for years. (Thank you, baristas, for all your hard work.) I partially wrote my first NaNoWriMo here back in 2008 (I think it was called something else, but it’s the same building.) Speaking of the building, they just remodeled it for better use of space. It looks great.

Before I get into writing my NaNoWriMo project, I wanted to share two different ways to write a scene using the four steps I use. This year, I did it the batch way. Here’s how it goes:

4 steps done BATCH method (for Planners)

  • Write one sentence describing each scene for the whole story. From beginning to the end of the story.
  • Go back to the beginning and turn each sentence into a paragraph. From beginning to end.
  • Go back to the beginning and turn each paragraph into five or six paragraphs. From beginning to end.
  • Now, write your story.

This is a great way to do it for the writer who is a Planner. But fear not if you are a Pantser. I love you Pantsers so much. So here is what I recommend for you using the same steps:

4 steps done HEADLIGHT method (for Pantsers)

  • Write one sentence describing that scene.
  • Now, turn that sentence into a paragraph.
  • Now, turn that paragraph into five or six paragraphs.
  • Now, rewrite those five or six paragraphs into a full-fledged scene.
  • Go to the next scene and repeat.
  • Keep doing this until you reach the end of your story.

I call this the Headlight method because it’s like that analogy of the writer is driving on a dark, foggy, curvy road in the dark and he can only see the story up to a certain point thanks to the headlights. I think E. L. Doctorow came up with that.

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

E.L. Doctorow

So, to those who have already reached 50k for NaNoWriMo, congratulations. I hate you. For those who are like me and almost there, keep going. I’m with you. To those who couldn’t finish for whatever reason, you’re still a winner. Just evaluate what you learned as a writer and keep creating your WIP even after NaNoWriMo is over.

Wait. That goes for all of us.

Word count: 37800

Photo by 世品 苏

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