How to Plot a Novel (NaNoWriMo)

I got a news journal but it's like lots of things why ha there there we go what's up you guys I'm Lindsay coming this author have a bunch of books Xena this coming out on January 16 2018 it's so soon and I'm really excited because it's Friday which means it's time for another writing advice video earlier today I asked a lot of you guys what you wanted this week's writing advice video to be and you chose probably the hardest one to talk about and that is plotting a novel thanks guys thank you the simple answer to this is I don't know I have no idea it kind of just happens but the long answer begins with this I start with an idea sometimes it's a character sometimes it's a setting or sometimes it's a scene that comes like fully formed in my mind but instead of telling you why don't I just show you also full disclaimer this is going to be a very basic crappy novel idea super generic characters super generic ideas because one I don't want anyone to steal it and to yeah really I just don't want anyone to steal it all this stuff is gonna be off the top of my head ideas that I come up with because I want you to see how it actually works when I am sitting down trying to plot out a novel let's pretend that we're actually creating this novel from scratch together and we decide oh we're super inspired by this character that's where I'm gonna begin is by thinking about that character sometimes that character pops into my head and they're just right there and they're real and they're fully formed but other times I have to be inspired the way I do that is I going to deviant-art or Pinterest or following random artists on Twitter Instagram you never know where you're gonna get inspired it could be from a film a TV show so today let's just start and let's create a character why don't we call her Alicia why Alicia because it's a girl that I used to go to elementary school with and sometimes that's how names come to me for characters it's from a past experience someone I used to know or I'll mold two names together so we have Alyssa again all this stuff is dinner ideas that were coming up with on the spot she's going to be a huntress and I see her as coming from a world that doesn't have any sunlight like it never had sunlight she lives underground and she looks like Nyssa from my plans Walker deck from Magic the Gathering let's say the Delicias about twenty years old okay so stop there I've come up with this stuff just by sitting here thinking of it and that's what you can do to you'll be very surprised how much your mind can wonder when you're just sitting there dreaming about a story so now that I know kind of the very basic things not my character I want to know what world I can put her in and so I start to work on the setting it's dark all the time there's this weird like poisonous mists that plagues the world I picture that it's like this big complex world full of tunnels where Alicia lives where people are kind of like moles they can't really see very well so they have to wear these cool goggles that help them see I start thinking about like what they eat in this world and so maybe because I said Alicia is a Huntress maybe she goes out into the overworld that's what we're gonna call it outside of like the tunnel system and she has to go and hunt these big scary monster things okay so I kind of have like that basic setting I see the world and now I kind of have to start thinking of scenes that are gonna come along with this character and with this world that she lives in I like to follow the hero's journey it's a really awesome way to plot I'll leave a link in the description for a really good hero's journey example but I like to start with my character in their normal world in their normal setting I have Alicia in her normal world doing normal things for her it's like these super cool things like maybe she goes out with her fancy like night-vision goggles that are like super steampunk looking and she uses these to see the big bad monsters that she's gonna hunt and bring back to her people to eat so great I see I see like a scene I see an intro I see her in this world talking to someone and she's like okay I gotta go out and hunt I gotta go get us food then I dive into changing things up making thing is really really uncomfortable for my character basically making their worlds suck I pulled them out of what's comfortable I pulled them into chaos one day Alicia goes out with her hunting party into the mist she's about to kill a monster but suddenly she's stopped by a new character that comes in it's a man that fights her trying to save the monsters life with like life like an orb of sunlight like duncek done now we have magic again this story is supposed to suck you guys so no no judges here and then if I want to make things even more complicated in this scene where the crap is hitting the fan when this man attacks Alysha with this or by magic sunlight he seems like he knows her and he kind of hates her he calls her Catherine and what's even crazier about the name of Catherine is it's not alysha's name it's her twin sister and her twin sister disappeared like years ago when she was dragged away by the big bad monster things but now this man sees Alecia and he's like hey Catherine what I know it's so stupid it's so like lame and stereotypical but that's kind of how story ideas begin so now I'm still sitting there thinking about it but now I have a million questions running through my mind like what the heck happened to her twin sister Catherine like why was she out there was she hunters too or did she wander out into the mist at night by herself because of some like weird presence that was calling to her and who is the magical man why and how does he know alysha's twin sisters named her sisters supposed to be dead so does that mean she's alive how does she fit into this whole story and after this man prevents Alyssa from killing a monster does she kill him or does she track him and discover an entirely different Society where the monsters aren't really monsters and it challenges her way of thinking will she ever find a way to bring the light to this world that's just always covered in darkness is she gonna have a shiny orb of light – can I have a shiny orb of life just sitting there asking yourself question after question after question eventually you'll have a storyline on your hands and then as you go you can start to iron it out you can start to fill in the plot holes and I think you'll find after that that even more possibilities will open up and I could keep going if you keep filling in this whole storyline for the sake of distracting you from your own story I'm just gonna at that also we know that would be a real crappy novel but I hope that you get the point from it I hope that you see kind of how the process works for me it's really just a lot of brainstorming a lot of lashing on to ideas that pop into your head again I'm here every Tuesday with blogs and every Friday with writing advice and less life things happen and hey really quick before you go this is really exciting stuff for my publisher if you're interested in pre-ordering the zenith you can register your pre-order and they will send you this awesome like super cool necklace I'm really excited about it thank you guys so much for watching best of luck if you're in the middle of NaNoWriMo don't forget that I love you god loves you don't forget to love yourself and I will see you next time bye

47 thoughts on “How to Plot a Novel (NaNoWriMo)

  1. Holy shit. Maybe it was your enthusiasm but that idea was amazing. It was her twin sister! πŸ˜†

  2. Missing twin sister? Getting some major Mexican soap opera vibes from this

  3. I got the inspiration for my future book by doing adult coloring pages for a yoga class in highschool

  4. My novel Idea is sucky but I am excited to see how far I can go with it.

  5. This is basically a version of Metro 2033 πŸ™‚ Sounds really exciting!

  6. I literally just got more and more excited as you described that novel idea. I felt like I was reading a really good book. So much for a crappy story idea.

  7. As a writer I love to see others go through the process. Interesting…very interesting!


  9. Lol, actually i would read that book if you made it. It sounded pretty interesting for just having come up with it on the spot.

  10. My friend Alicia and I are best friends and both writers. You used both of our names in this video. How did you know!??? πŸ˜‚

  11. I would actually read this. πŸ˜‚πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

  12. If you like supporting new authors check out the link to my first short fiction novella. A quick fun read for when you find yourself with a few extra hours, but can't find anything to watch on Netflix :/

  13. "this story is supposed to suck" im like what, i would totally read it

  14. Is it just me or the story you just fleshed out actually sounds good?! I would actually be interested in reading it, it really isnt crap!

  15. Others already said it, but I would read that book lol. Thanks for doing a plotting process rundown!

  16. First of all….I thought this plot was rather intriguing. Second…thanks for your wonderful videos. I am super stuck with plot right now and I get discouraged.

  17. Ok, but now I’m invested in this story and need to know what happens.

  18. That story actually sounds amazing! πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘β€

  19. I love this! That's how I like to plan very organic! As an Alicia (though it's Ah-lee-cee-ah for me), it made me giggle all the more! πŸ˜‰

  20. You're so creative with these kinds of videos. Love your wonderful ways!

  21. I don't know. My son said it sounds like a cool novel idea, lol! I guess it depends on what age you are going for. He's 12 πŸ˜€

  22. This was really helpful, and to be honest, I would totally read that story.

  23. Wow, it's really interesting to see how people outline! Thank you for sharing your process, it was really helpful. πŸ™‚

  24. I’m 21k in to my first novel and it’s ridiculous how much the plot has changed. This is really good advice!!

  25. That's sorta how my book started. I had a weird idea and I've been using school assignments to help plan it out.

  26. this … this story sounds AWESOME! I get all the Gurren Lagann vibes from it

  27. what if i’ve already preordered the book like 5 months ago?

  28. now this story is in my head and I can't think of nothing else πŸ™‚ Really great video πŸ™‚

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