February is knocking at my door, however, and I can't wait to jump back into the writing fray. This time, however, I have a few weapons at my disposal. Here's a list of what my compulsive plotter self prepared:
- Complete Scene-by-Scene Outline. This outline is full of details, highlighting the conflict in every scene along with the narrator. Scenes are separated by chapters and the whole outline is in four parts. there are descriptions of characters at the start. This little baby is 7245 words long, spans 23 pages and is the most complete guide I have to the novel.
- One-Liner Outline. The above isn't handy for a quick "Where next?" check, so I pared it down to one line by scene. I used colours to indicate chapter change and a paragraph jump for every new page. It gives a great overview of the novel's beats.
- Tension Graph. At some point in Plot and Structure, J.S. Bell talked about rating the tension level in your scenes. I did it for all 46 of them and then used Excel to graph it. This let me detect instantly one weak scene that jarred the rhythm. It also made me squee, because I have a nice progressive climb in intensity.
- POV Tension Graph. Because I have three POV and I wanted to make sure each of them has its share of tension-riddled scene, I added a tension curve for each of them on my graph. It's full of colours now!
- Final Scene Table. Click the link for the post in which I detailed this one. It's the most comprehensive, easy-to-check way I found to detailing my climax.
- Four timelines. On different scales, about the world's backstory, important characters' pasts, the full storyline and the last half of the novel. I love my timelines.
- Pages and pages of brainstorming.
- Full folder of research-related links.
Is there anything you can't do without before you start writing?