I’ve never tried NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month), an annual event that takes place every November, but a lot of writers participate in it. In the old fable, NaNo writers would be the hare, pounding out a book in a month. I’m a tortoise–slow and steady. But NaNo inspired two great blogs on outlining by K.M. Weiland. Now, I have friends who write wonderful books by the old seat of your pants method and others who start with four sentences that ground the entire book–the turning points that guide the entire story–but then there are people like me who jot down ideas for each chapter (making sure to hit those 4 turning points). But I’d still be a slouch compared to K.M. Weiland.
I’ve never outlined as much as K.M. Weiland does, but I can see how her method would create rich characters and conflicts. I especially like her idea of digging into your antagonists before you spend too much time on your protagonist, so that they’re a solid part of your story, not just an afterthought. Anyway, if you’re a NaNo participant, and you do a little, some, or all of this homework before you jump into your month of writing, you should end up with something solid, so I thought I’d share the links. And if you’re putting fingers to the keys in November, good luck!