Today I roared past the finish line of Nanowrimo, clocking in at 50,791 words with one day to spare. My novel, “The Turquoise Bones,” will not be complete until another 30K or so words are added, then edited. Still, it is a moment to celebrate.
Some of my readers may remember my discussion of using a beat sheet and plotting out my novel scene by scene. Said readers may be wondering if I can credit my success to that outline. Well. Yes and no. First the “No.” While the story I’ve been writing bears a strong resemblance to that outline, it diverges from it in many ways as well.“Yes,” because my outline has kept the story on the course I intended. “Yes,” because this is a drastic improvement in my efforts at story creation. Prior to discovering the beat sheet, my first draft was little more than a collection of ideas from which to build a story. Only after the 2nd time through did the plot make sense, and three or four edits before it was ready for critiquing. I’m hoping to get critiques of “The Turquoise Bones” after one edit. With practice, I think I can learn to make beat sheets that are closer to the final story, kind of like improving a golf game. Some day, maybe I’ll score a hole in one and capture the story on the first draft.