Day 3 – NaNo – Planning & Plotting

I’ve made it to day three of NaNoWriMo. And I’ve managed to complete Chapter four with a word count of 1,942 words today. Bringing my total count to 7,660 words. If you’ve stayed on track for approx. 1,700 words per day, you should be around 5,100 words or more at the moment.

Today was a bit more difficult for me as I got into the chapter because my character is doing some serious planning and plotting. So I thought I’d take today to talk about the two and how you can work with both.

As Defined by the Free Dictionary:

v. , v.tr. plannedplan·ningplans –
  1. To formulate a scheme or program for the accomplishment, enactment, or attainment of: plan a campaign.
  2. To have as a specific aim or purpose; intend: They plan to buy a house.
  3. To draw or make a graphic representation of.
v. v.tr. plot·tedplot·tingplots – 
  1. To represent graphically, as on a chart: plot a ship’s course.
  2. Mathematics
    a. To locate (points or other figures) on a graph by means of coordinates.
    b. To draw (a curve) connecting points on a graph.
  3. To write or develop the plot of: “I began plotting novels at about the time I learned to read” (James Baldwin).
  4. To form a plot for; prearrange secretly or deviously: plot an assassination.

v.intr.

  1. To form or take part in a plot; scheme: were plotting for months before thee attack.
  2. To write or develop the plot for a work of fiction: good mystery writer must plot well.

 

For the purpose of this article we’ll only focus on the bolded items for both definitions.

Planning – My character is  planning to sneak out of a large fortress, through a walled city and then through a dangerous, forest. All of these things are patrolled by guards and rangers. You can imagine what planning entails. Architectural plans of both fortress and city, guard duty and ranger postings and routes.

And the other consideration I needed to make was how much to tell my reader? How in-depth did i want to go with the planning? What does the reader really need to know, or want to know? As I mentioned in “Day 2”, you can be as descriptive as you want with a scene. But in the end, if the reader doesn’t need to know all the information, then it doesn’t need to belong.

As an example: I had a description of five ways my character could get out of the fortress. And a description for each way. When it came down to it I realized it was to much information and the reader only needed  to know the way my character planned to get out. If I wanted to use any of the other exist I can file way those descriptions for later use.

Plotting – When people  think of plotting, most think of some evil scheme about to be hatched. But as the definition implies, plotting is just the act of preparing over a long period of time for something to come to fruition.

An example: You saw my character planning to sneak out of the fortress. Now, obviously all that planning would take a lot of  time. That, by definition, would be plotting. Of course all her planning has a larger purpose and she has other ideas to “plot”. But she is “plotting” for the betterment of her people. So as you can see, not all plots need be evil.

I’ll leave you with our mantra of “Keep on Writing” and have a good evening. 🙂

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