Today we are going to be talking a little bit more in depth about outlines, but focusing on one chapter at a time. A lot of authors and writing blogs state that writing chapter notes for each chapter; notes that include all the main plot points and conversation points in it, really can help in making sure you don’t miss a beat!
What do I include in chapter notes?
– Characters in that chapter (if there is a new character introduced, when, where, who,)
– Major plot points (if it is a mystery or horror novel, your chapter notes are basically going to look like the plot of an entire novel with a climax and relief)
– Minor plot points (when conversations start, who are they between, background information you might want to tie in, scenic, pretty stuff)
– THIS MIGHT JUST SOMETHING THAT I DO, but especially if I am writing for NaNoWriMo, I usually give myself chapter word count goals, no I won’t always hit them, but it gives me something to aim for, so I usually add those into my chapter notes!
How do I keep chapter notes?
– I keep everything to do with my novels in one notebook. Its just easier for me to bring around, and at those times when I am not at my computer (like on the bus or out to lunch) I can sit there and get my chapters ready for when I DO go sit and write!
– If you are keeping the majority of your notes on the computer, you might want to do it all in the same place. I suggest if you are using Word, to use the workbook template as it helps to remind you that it is NOT your novel and that you shouldn’t go too crazy with notes! I mean, you still have to write that actual chapter!
– I don’t suggest sticky notes for this, but maybe if you are using the chalkboard or whiteboard method, so you can jot down all your points there and take a photo with your phone so you can bring it wherever you go!
–It helps you stay organized and on track with your novel
– You have absolutely no excuse to sit there and stare into the blank page’s abyss, all your ideas are already written down and thought about
– I honestly think that chapter notes (along with a mix of write-a-thons and sprints) are the reason I won NaNo last year, these will keep your mind in place for the duration of your writing.
Well, I hope this helped and I hope that you find some useful tips to help you get through your NaNo project!