NaNo Workout: Coming in for a landing, aka Beat Sheet It!

Okay, so I meant to keep up with my NaNo AND blogging about NaNo, but that second part seems to have gotten away from me. As if doing NaNo isn’t ambitious enough on it’s own. And life has a tendency to place things in our way sometimes (like getting sick or having to go to WORK or make a birthday cake for a family member, sheesh.).

Hopefully, most people are “coming in for a landing” this week and have less than 10,000 words left (If not, this could still work. you can still do it. Just buy lots of snacks and frozen meals, hole yourself up somewhere, barricade yourself into an Internet free zone and leave a note for your family not to disturb you until Dec 1).

By the time the end is in sight (somewhere around 3/4 through), usually my story looks not much like my original outline/beat sheet. So, even through I’m still glancing at it for reference, it’s pretty useless.

When I’m looking down at the last bit of hiking trail, but the trailhead still seems pretty far away, I do what I call an “in story” beat sheet / outline. I find that this gives me the last bit of energy, insight, and momentum I need to finish the story. It makes the ending, and how to get there, more clear. And it makes it all seem possible.

I think it works best when you’re leading up to the climax of your story. That part can be a little intimidating b/c we so want it to bring all the elements together so perfectly.

All this means is taking some time to write out the beats until the end of your story INSIDE your manuscript. So simple, yet so effective.

So, go to the last thing that you wrote, and just type out the rest of your story in beats. Don’t worry about full sentences or punctuation or anything like that. It’s basically just a list, in chronological order, of the things that have to happen in the rest of your story. If inspired to do so, add a few notes to yourself (I usually put these in parentheses)

Then, as you write, just follow along, fill in the details, etc. It’s very inspiring to be able to see it all laid out in front of you. Yes, it takes a little bit of your NaNo writing time to do it, but I guarantee it will be worth it.

It might look a little something like this:

-The two warring planets come together and threaten everyone on the asteroid, pull it out of the neutral zone with a tractor beam (see! idoLL says, I knew someone had invented that)

-IdoLL can’t sit by and watch her friends get destroyed (she feels guilty, responsible for the whole thing)

-She contacts the Rethulans and says to take her, and her alone, instead – they agree.

-idoLL and the princess have a bonding moment in the shuttle (first time idoLL hasn’t been an asshat to her) while they’re floating towards the Rethulan ship

-idoLL punches “auto pilot” and they get stuck in a space stalemate

-idoLL’s parents show up! and negotiate with Rethulans, yay! they are very diplomatic (Queen has soft spot for AIP’s)

-idoLL takes princess to TREND to show her “something” (i.e. the purple planet)

-Jettison meets them there, she’s depressed because she now thinks she’s a fraud

etc. etc. etc.

Like I said, once you have this typed out into your manuscript, it makes getting to the end see doable. I always find it gives me that last motivational push to plow through to the end.

NaNo on!


Filed under behind the scenes, NaNoWriMo, novel adventures, weekend workout, writing exercises

4 responses to “NaNo Workout: Coming in for a landing, aka Beat Sheet It!

  1. Today or tomorrow I should be able to reach my word count. You Beat Sheet It was kind of funny but I absolutely see how it could help a Nanoer reach the finish line. Good luck. The end is almost upon us.
    I hope you’re feeling better too.

  2. Hey Akossket.

    Did you mean My process is funny or what I wrote? Lol. Hopefully what I wrote since it’s a comedy. (sci fi satire)

    Good luck to you too! I’ve got less than 1,500 words to go, but working long hours right now.

  3. My bad I meant the sci fi satire 🙂

  4. lol. I was teasing.

    I’ll take funny whenever I can get it. 🙂

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