(reblogged from TheWriteLife)
If you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November , you’re likely gearing up to plan your novel in October. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days takes work, and starting the month prepared makes it easier to hit your goal — or even surpass it.
Since all stories are about an interesting character solving an interesting problem in an interesting way, your first step is to figure out your main character(s), the story problem, and the main goal.
In a few sentences, describe what this novel will be about. This summary will be your guide for October, and help keep you on track all through November.
Week 1 (October 1 to 7): Focus on the novel’s setup
Beginnings introduce the characters, story problem, and story world or setting to readers, and they set the stage for the rest of the novel.
A strong start will provide you with solid scene goals, giving you something to write about every day.
Things to determine:
How the protagonist is introduced
What traits do you want readers to know right away? How might you show those traits in action? What likable qualities does your protagonist have? How can you show those qualities in your opening scene or first chapter?
The problem the opening scene deals with
An opening with an interesting problem to solve gives the story drive and the characters reasons to act. What problem might your protagonist face when the novel opens?
Remember, the goal of an opening is to a.) hook readers and b.) lead the plot to the core conflict of the novel.
The inciting event
If this event did not happen, there would be no novel. It either drives your opening, or is the bridge between your opening scene and the beginning of the middle (act two).