Okay, in the last few days, we got the mechanical stuff set up for the novel. We’re about to really start our planning soon, but today should be the last of the mechanical stuff.
Open your project (you can actually save a link on your desktop, and open it that way too). We need to put a scene or two for every chapter. Click on the chapter in the binder (that’s the left column). It’ll show a corkboard. left click on it, then press CTRL+N. If you do it twice, you get two scenes. For now, let’s do one scene.
Did you do your 60 plot points? If you did your math, you’ll see it’s going to be roughly one plot point per scene. Now it’s just all the “He said” and “She shouted angrily”. BTW, of course, if she’s shouting, it’s… angrily. Edit the line to “She shouted.” We can infer the anger part.
If you were able to come up with 60 plot points, you’ll need two scenes per chapter. If you were only able to come up with 30, it’s going to be one scene per chapter. I’ve used up to 7 scenes per chapter. More than that, and the chapter starts to drag.
Scenes, by the way, do not have to be 1600 words long. I’ve written 300 word scenes. I tend to list them as 400 words (action snippet), 600 words (short scene), 900 words (medium scene), 1200 words+ (long scene).
This is part of “directing from the pen”. You’re going to control the pacing of your novel by choosing scene length. If your book is starting to drag as you write it, switch it up and resort to action snippets. If the pace is going too fast, you need to throw in a medium to long scene.
The same thing works with sentences. I’ve already got my writer’s voice, so my sentences tend to be uncontrolled – they are what they are. For now, start thinking in terms of writing shorter sentences to speed things up, longer sentences to slow them down. Compound sentences mean the same thing as compound fracture – something’s broken.
So, for now, make one scene per chapter, and be prepared to make three or four.
Take EACH plot point in your list, and put them in the synopsis in each scene (you have to have scenes – if you try writing your novel in the chapters, you’re in for a rude surprise when you print this thing out).
Last mechanical items you need to do:
Get Evernote if you didn’t do that yesterday. Just use the free plan for now – authors are notorious for being broke. Install the Evernote clipper plugin to your browser. Trust me on this. You’re going to do a TON of research, and you’re going to need something to hold all that research. Evernote is my default storage. it’s MUCH better than the old days when I’d save something to PDF.
Eventually, on a slow month I’m not researching something, or if they offer me the business trial again, I’m going to import every last PDF on my hard drive and get RID of them! Well, not the E-book ones I’ve paid for.
Get a pack of Tul pens. Up to you if you like blue ink or black, fine point or medium. But nothing writes like a Tul.
get a small notebook you can bring with you to jot things down with. Even if you bought the Full Focus Planner, be prepared to carry a notebook around. Get into the habit of jotting down EVERY thought you have about your novel. I’m going to talk about the writer’s notebook tomorrow, and show you how to set it up.