There are two tricks to NaNoWriMo. First, create habits. Write every single day. Skip one day and you’re screwed. No wait. You will definitely get back in the game, but it’s hard. Don’t skip any days. Write one paragraph, then two, then three, and move on. This is really fucking hard.
Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I’ve just completed 6,300 words toward a 50,000-word first draft of a novel. We’re at the one-week mark. Today is November 7th, and I’m totes under goal. Merde. In the meantime, Trick Number Two -- this outline -- is helping me stay focused. If it helps someone else, that'd be nice, too.
1: Opening conflict
2: Protagonist in daily life, before a transformation
3: Opportunity for change
4: Resistance to the Opportunity
5: Point of No Return - Opportunity Accepted
6: Entering the New Situation
7: Meeting Friends, Enemies, Romance, Transformative Experienced
8: Problem Brings Them Together
9: Problem Drives Them Apart
10: Crisis Hits
11: Horrible Secret Revealed or Attack Starts
12: All Seems Lost
13: Self Sacrifice or Symbolic Death
14: Final Showdown
15: Conclusion: Wed or Dead
"Good luck," she says, staring at her curser, procrastinating, wine in hand.