STEP SIX: TIME TO …
Build and expand, build and expand . . . . Remember those five sentences you wrote in step two that you made into five paragraphs in step five? Well, we’re going to expand each of those to a page each…with a twist. We’re going to write what a part of each section might actually sound like in its part of the novel. That’s five pages of actual writing that you might actually use in your novel.
By writing a page of prose for each of the five parts, you get and keep the scope of the novel in your head. Also, this can become a bit like “connect the dots.” Once you have these five pages, you fill in the in-between parts connecting them, and you have your book. Of course, if you write a page and you feel like continuing, don’t fight it. Keep going until you’re happy with that part.
To give you an idea, here’s the first page for the first line / paragraph plan for my novel, JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN:
The body flew up and to the right as the silver Camaro smacked into it. Blake slammed on his brakes, nearly sending his car fishtailing over the edge.
“Stupid, that was stupid,” he said to himself, slapping both hands on the steering wheel repeatedly. “I could’ve been killed.”
He shot the car into reverse and pulled onto a narrow logging road. He killed the engine, killed the lights, and waited a moment to catch his breath. No cars, no lights, no sirens.
He hiked up to where the bicycle lay in a tangled mess of metal, then rushed up and down the road, collecting pieces and pushing them to the side. A small patch of blood pooled on the gravel, and was already beginning to soak in. Blake scuffed his boots on the ground, pushing dirt over the blood. The spot looked smaller. If anyone found it anytime soon, it would look like some forest creature had met its maker at the wheels of a logging truck.
Now, where the hell did the body go? Blake peered into the blackness and saw nothing.
“Shit! Another loose end! Now I’ll be nailed for murder on top of everything else.” He scrambled down the slope, searching the bush to the left, to the right. He was about to stop for a breather when he heard a gurgling choke from directly below.
He slid down the bank now, faster and faster, until his foot met with flesh.
“Unhhh!” the cyclist groaned as another rib cracked from the impact. Blood soaked his body, his face, the ground all around him. He managed to flop his head back so he could look into the eyes of the one who had done this to him…
You get the idea. The writing you do for each section will actually be in “novel form.” You won’t be writing ABOUT your novel; you’ll be writing your novel. And once you have a few pages finished, you KNOW you’ll be ready to go…but hold off a bit. There’s one more step…and in a few days, I’ll post it. And then you’ll need the rest of October to complete it. It’s a doozy, but it will set you up for success in Nanowrimo! See you in a few days…