I am a “Type A” plotter. I need every detail planned out scene by scene before I can write a word. I may not know my characters well, but I do know what happens to them.
One thing I learned from my last manuscript is that I need a way to understand if I have enough conflict between the characters. That was a weakness in my last manuscript and with the way I plotted the first book. The other thing I learned is that I have to speed up the process. I cannot take months to come up with the exact story idea and plot. I need to be able to produce a manuscript in a timely manner if I’m to write for a living.
To accomplish this I’ve returned to First Draft in 30 Days by Karen S. Wiesner. In her book, in 30 days you have a detailed outline. I’ve also decided to start with a synopsis or proposal. I’m hoping this will give me an overall plot to use as a guide as I break down the plot into acts then chapters, then scenes, etc.
I also create a cast of characters for each story including setting, names of houses, etc. This helps me keep up with everyone and the correct spelling. I am terrible at names!
My goal is to have this piece of work done by mid-May. It’s more than 30 days, but with my day job, holidays and trips, I will be lucky to get things done before then. I hope to start writing scenes in May and have a decent proposal to pitch when I go to Nationals in June. Too ambitious? Probably.