Planning Mirror Image

Mirror Image will be a young adult novel. It will be character driven with a strong message within the plot. The story is difficult to slot into a genre, but if I had to do so, I think I would have to say it fits best into mainstream.

Three days ago, I announced my intension of doing a full NaNoWriMo this year instead of a Mini-NaNo as I originally intended. Since then I have put in many hours each day in planning the project. And I must say that the plans are moving steadily along.

Outline: I wrote the outline from beginning to end in just a few hours. There was none of that starting and stopping business. I knew what had to happen and just typed, and typed, and typed. It felt great to see the words fall onto the page like that too. The outline itself gives me an excellent look at the manuscript I’ll be writing in November. If I refer to that alone, I can’t possibly get stuck.

Characters: I spent two days (and this time there was a lot of starting and stopping, but that was unavoidable) building character profiles. It’s amazing how these people developed. First, the main character and her brother came into the light and I wrote a lot about them, but something didn’t feel right for quite some time. Then I realised that these two were twins. Everything fell into place after that.

The rest of the main character’s family were targeted next. I knew the type of family the character came from and easily put the people together. Nothing was overlooked, not even their middle names (although I doubt I’ll ever use those names in the story). They all have jobs, interests, favourite clothes and pastimes. Even the house they live in has been decided.

Then I moved onto her friends, including a boyfriend. Actually, the boyfriend was the one I had the most trouble with. Even now I’m not entirely sure I’ve got the right person for her, but as I work through the next steps, that should be sorted out and finalised soon. Her girl friends, however, were a different story. Talk about eager to get onto the page, which sort of sums up their personalities too.

Chapter Plan: Honestly, the outline is so in depth, I don’t really need a chapter plan, but I figure there’s no harm in working on one anyway. I have figured out a few extra things from it. If nothing else, it will be a guide for those tough middle weeks of NaNo when writers are feeling tired and are thinking of quitting. I’m determined that won’t happen to me.

The only other thing I want to do is make a list of emotions my MC should experience as the story progresses. I’m not going to explain that statement, but it is important to the story.

Oh, I just thought of something else. In my mind I have the sentence, theme and premise sorted, but I want to make them official and write them down. It’s amazing how much clearer the storyline will become by doing this.

The one thing I will say about this project is that it has sparked a flame within me, which in turn has seen me dedicating hours at a time to the planning. I feel passionate about the story and the characters. I want this story told and I’m determined to get a huge chunk of it (50,000 words at least) written in November. The overall word count for the entire story will be around 75,000 words (I don’t mean that I intend to write that number of words in November though).

And in conclusion, I announce that should I be ready to start writing prior to 1 November 2007…then I’ll start writing. I will not take a change on losing the enthusiasm I feel right now by having to sit and wait for two weeks to start typing. It’s not worth the risk. However, whatever is written prior to the start of NaNo will not be included in the official word count for that month. The way I see it, I’m aiming for 75,000 and I’ll be working on that odd 25,000 words prior to the start bell instead of trying to get through it after the finish line. That’s not cheating and if anyone thinks it is…tough! 😉

7 thoughts on “Planning Mirror Image”

  1. Hey Karen,

    I’ve stumbled onto your blog again. Just wanted to say that this new novel looks really interesting, and I wish you all the best with it. 🙂


  2. I wish you all the best! I’m jealous that you were so easily able to write out an outline; as I’ve never attempted a novel length work before – but I’m in the process of planning to do so now – I’m finding it very difficult to come up with an outline that does justice. I’m new at this, so I kinda have to figure out for myself how many scenes / how much conflict it’ll take to accomplish my writing goal.

    Nonetheless, it sounds like you’ve got more than a good head start heading into November. Again, good luck! I look forward to following your progress!

  3. Mark, I called it that last year when I did 25,000 words in the month instead of the required 50,000 words. I’ve since seen a number of people using the term. 🙂

    Jaimie, thank you for the best wishes.

    Ryan, thank you for the best wishes too. Have you tried the Snowflake method of planning (there’s a link in the main page sidebar)? It’s excellent for fattening out a plan.

  4. Nope, I haven’t, but perhaps now’s as good a time as any.

    It sounds silly, but I just bought a laptop (really good deal). I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find a nice place to sit for an hour every night, and turn my writing into more of a routine and less of a lunar event.

    Keep blogging! Looking forward to hearing about your progress!

  5. Ryan, you should try Snowflake. I’m sure your story will benefit from it. Most do.

    Laptops are good for finding quiet corners of the house (or outside) to write. I hope your plan to write every day works. Of course, you are the key…you know that, don’t you? 😉

  6. I’m just learning that, yeah. Since I got the laptop, I’ve required of myself no less than an hour at the comp every night. I find a nice quiet distraction-free part of the house, and just hammer it out. I’m finding amazing success; sure, my word count is 0, but my outline is 4700 words strong in only four nights. That’s gotta be worth something. 🙂

    I’m going to apply the Snowflake theory as well. I think multiple outlining routes might reveal some interesting angles.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence!


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