Weekend Workout: Prepping fo NaNo (or not)

I still haven’t decided whether I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year, which begins, according to the ticking clock on their website, in 19 days, 12 hours, and 42 minutes, and 30 seconds (29… 28… 27…) Regardless of whether you are going for NaNo 2012, starting a new project, or editing an old, I cannot stress enough the fabulousness of the Sequence and Beat Sheet. It is both inspirational and practical. I used to be much more of a “pantser” when it came to writing, but being organized beforehand has done wonders for my writing process AND saved heartache while editing. I posted about this last year before NaNo and wanted to do so again for those about to begin. So, pardon the repeat post, although it has been edited...

NaNo Hangover Episode 3.5

I realized that I may have been a bit hasty recommending you all go for your rewrite without checking to see how much of your story needed to be rewritten! If it’s going to be quite the overhaul, I recommend you go back to an outline or, what I use, a sequence and beat sheet. Don’t attempt one until you have done your This is a Story About exercise and can put your story into a logline. One or two sentences. If you can’t do that, you don’t know your story’s focus yet. I cannot stress enough how helpful a sequence and beat sheet is. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking of designing a novel prep class solely about creating one of these.  It’s your map, your guide, your blueprint. HERE IS MY POST ABOUT WRITING A SEQUENCE AND...

Prepping for NaNoWriMo: The Sequence and Beat Sheet!

I love my sequence and beat sheet. Love, love, love it. It’s basically a form of outline I use for getting a story down, but because of my screenwriting background, I tend to think of stories in sequences, beats, scenes, etc. In this outline approach, the “beats” are the main steps of the story. Each beat is supported by one or more scenes. For example: Anna gets a horse for her birthday. Anna’s father loses his job Parents can’t afford to keep the horse. Anna gets a job at the stables to support her horse-riding. Anna falls from a loft and breaks her leg. ETC. After I’ve done copious amounts of prewriting (i.e. I basically know what the story is about and where I want to go), I write my first beat sheet. Sometimes I know...