Plotting, Plotting, Plotting my Three Day Novel Experiment

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Today is all about plotting my novel for The Three Day Novel Experiment. This time around, I’m going to use Elana Johnson’s How to Write a Synopsis post to focus on my plot outline AND my synopsis. Go on, read Elana’s post and tell me it can’t be done. I’ll wait.

Okay. What do you think? It makes sense, doesn’t it? And, yes, if the agony of writing a synopsis can be reduced, I’m all for it.

I need to get back to work, but before I go, I thought I’d share how I organize my manuscripts. Thanks to Scrivener, I can keep each manuscript and all the drafts/notes organized in ONE file.

Check out the sample screenshot:

My Scrivener Corkboard for organizing plot/drafts/etc: Click and View Full Size Screenshot

If you look at the left of the photo, you can see the manuscript file looks like a Table of Contents. Isn’t it awesome? I like to keep my Title Page, Plot Outline, Synopsis, Query Letter, and Research Notes at the top. The chapters follow, each with versions of all my drafts. I can also add in a research page, notes page, etc, whatever I need to perfect each chapter. Every draft has its own plotting card (See Corkboard), so I can keep on track of what needs to happen in the story. Quick note: Most people use the files within each chapter to write each scene and the note cards are used accordingly. I just like to keep all my drafts with each chapter so files can be easily maneuvered, if needed. A new manuscript file is created once the final revision is done.

My Scrivener File: Click and View Full Size Screenshot

Another great thing–even though I say I don’t pay attention to word count, but really, who am I fooling–is that if you look at the bottom center of the photo above, the word count is there, a piece of the scenery. I don’t really notice the numbers, but if I want guidance to figure out if I need to add more to a chapter OR if I better find a good way to end the chapter AND fast, (ie: based on an average of 2,500 words per chapter) the word count is there, in a non-threatening manner.

Hopefully, this has been an interesting post to at least one person out there. Next time I write, I’ll be ready to undertake this Three Day Novel Experiment.

Anyone else in?

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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