That’s what I’m doing this year. I’ve “won” NaNo several years, ending up with a bunch of rough drafts that I’ve been too busy to finish. So, this year, I’m Taming the Wild NaNo: taking one of those manuscripts and finishing it. I posted an excerpt yesterday.
Here’s my plan: I find my manuscripts badly in need of organization, so I decided to take the time to copy the book, scene by scene, into an organization program.
Some people swear by Scrivener, and NaNo gives you a 50% discount on it if you finish your 50,000 words by the end of November. I have a copy. Me, I don’t like Scrivener, for some reason. It doesn’t float my boat.
I’m a fan of yWriter5, although I’ve never completed a project in it. Every time I start to use it for a short story, all the bits I need to organize fall into place in my head and I don’t need it. Which, in a way, means it works, right?
This is the first time I’ve tried to use it for a book, and it’s working right fine. So far, I called the whole manuscript Chapter 1, and I’m cutting and pasting each scene into a separate scene file. In that file. I’m making a Character file on each character, and can mark them Major or Minor characters. I can make files on items (like clues or things people habitually have with them) and locations. So, in each scene, I can list what characters are in it, whose viewpoint the scene is from, what items are – or need to be – mentioned, and what the location is. At any time, I can get a view of what scenes each character is in and if the scene is from that character’s viewpoint. I can see where the clues appear; so, if I move a scene around, I can see if I need to change that appearance.
Taming the Wild NaNo
I do a quick read-through as I clip and paste the scene, refreshing myself on the action and characters. When I get all the scenes plugged in, I can organize them into chapters, easy-peasy, just drag ’em and drop ’em. I can export ’em as one rtf file and work on the book that way, or do the writing and editing in yWriter5.
Wish me luck!
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character has to get organized.