“You know, how do you get thirty years of experience?
Thirty years.”

Michael Wekerle, Dragon’s Den

Month of Plotting!

I hate plotting. Haaaaaaate it.

However, last NaNo showed me that the inefficiencies in my pantsing method don’t work for me anymore, either. The combination has been frustrating.

Last year I found the Snowflake Method, which looks like it might work for me. I replotted one book last year, and made plans to two others, as well as a few new ideas. All of those are still sitting in my “to do” pile.

So, for Camp NaNo this year, I’ve decided work on that weakness in my process. I am going to spend this month figuring this plotting thing out, finally getting those projects ready.


I’ve decided to break the Snowflake Method up, and assign each piece a percentage of the total project. By the end, if I succeed at my goal, I’ll have three books plotted all the way through the scene breakdowns. On the off change I finish early, I’ll add another one.

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“You write to tell a story.
You don’t tell a story in order to write.”

Chuck Wendig


Last year, a friend showed me HabitRPG, which for me was another in a long string of to-do list and productivity apps that I’d tried. I expected it to have a similar usage pattern to the rest of them: I would use it without fail for a few weeks, if I was lucky a couple of months, and then I’d lose interest. I have abandoned accounts on more apps than I remember exist. HabitRPG however, appears to be sticking.

It’s a gamification app, so I’m willing to try it right out of the gate, of course. I’ve seen a lot of posts out there going over the basics, and there’s an overview video, so I’m not going to go into everything it does.

HabitRPG Tutorial #1: Tasks from Tyler Renelle on Vimeo.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this one’s working for me, but I think in large part it comes down to two things: quests and pets.

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NaNo Reflections

It’s been a month since the end of the last NaNo, and I’m still mulling over how I felt about it. I’ve been focusing on plotting lately, so I was looking forward to pantsing again. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have in the past.

I still like the experience of discovery through writing, but I’ve also come to like the efficiency I’ve managed to achieve in what plotting I’ve done, and I can’t say that pantsing is the most efficient method in the universe, even if it is still effective for me.

So, my conclusions from this NaNo is that I need to find a way to get the efficiency of plotting in with the discovery of pantsing.

Flying by the seat of your pants; I miss you Merit Badger! Outlining; I miss you Merit Badger!

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“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.”

Stephen King (via maxkirin)