Only a few days until the beginning of NaNoWriMo. This weekend is crunch time for me. I’m almost done with my prep work but there’s still some things to iron out.
This is the next to last step in my outlining process. The Final Outline.
Every step you’ve taken so far has changed your story. Your theme turned into a story. Your characters gave your story life. Your characters’ perspective gave you new insight into your story. Now it’s time to take all of that knowledge and turn it into something you can work with.
This is the outline you wanted to write all along, but you didn’t actually have enough information to do so. Write this outline in the order you want it in your story. If your story starts midway through Act II and flashes back to the beginning, write the outline that way. You’ve already worked out any chronology hiccups, so you should be fine. This is your road map if you get lost during the writing.
This outline can be as long as it needs to be. Try not to leave anything out. You can even throw in some dialog if it’s important to the story. There probably won’t be too many new surprises or significant changes in at this point, but you never know. If you do make any sort of major change, go back to your Perspective Outlines and make sure you haven’t screwed up anyone’s story.
Once you’re done with this step, you should feel pretty good about the story. Staring at a blank page shouldn’t scare you at this point. You’re almost ready.
Did I say ‘almost’? Yeah. There’s still two more things you need to do before you finally sit down to write. I’ll get to those next.