Today it’s finally time to start plotting that novel. There’s a little less than a week left in Preptober, and we’ve got to get to the heart of this story, stat!
Whenever I start outlining my novels, I usually do some brainstorming to begin with. As explained in this post on outlining, I jot down every bit and piece no matter how wild and crazy and off track it may sound, and then sort through it later. The idea is to just get all your jumbled thoughts down on paper, and then we can pick through them for plot points.
Next you’ll want to go through your story from A to Z. Starting with your pitch or logline, ask yourself what the biggest scenes are – the ones you absolutely MUST include – to hopscotch your way from the start to the finish. No need to get too detailed just yet; just get the basic stepping stones down.
So, for my ninja story, I’d try to capture the big picture in a few sentences like this: a ninja-in-training loses her parent/mentors in the forest, and can’t meet up with them to complete their mission. While trying to escape pursuers, she breaks her ankle. Eventually she’s discovered by a local boy, who sneaks her into his tree house and takes care of her until she recovers. The boy and ninja girl become friends, and when his parents discover her, she is forced to join him at school. With no experience in a public school, the ninja girl is embarrassed in one class after another – until she finally wows them with her ninja skills. Once her ankle has fully healed, and despite settling into a rather normal existence with her new friend’s family, ninja girl misses her own family and decides to try to find them so she can complete her training and become a full-fledged ninja. With the boy tagging along on this new adventure, she sets out on her quest to reconnect with her parents – which is also the setup for a second book in the series.
Tomorrow I’ll fill in the holes between these plot points, and turn this quick sketch into a more detailed outline!
Want to prep with me?
Share YOUR story’s quick plot sketch in the comments, or post it on your blog, and be sure to use the hashtag #Preptober when sharing on social media so we can find each other.
Don’t forget to grab a free copy of my Preptober Prompts Printable, which you can print out for personal use.
See you tomorrow with a new prompt!