- Supplies and a plan
The first quarter is all about the big picture. You’ll be looking at your story as a whole. This is the phase where you chop entire sections, revisit soggy plot devices and give those wimpy characters some backbone.
- Hook versus climax
- Plot arc
- Character arcs
- Mapping tension
- Voice, tone and language
Worksheets: chapter list, timeline, character journey
Second quarter is all about the chapters, zooming in to make sure that each section of your book develops the story, advances the plot and illustrates character development. You’ll be looking at flow and movement and making sure each chapter strengthens the work and moves the story forward. For each chapter you’ll be looking at:
- Hook to climax – chapter
- Rising tension
- Character development
Worksheets: scene list, locations and events, character journey
Third quarter is getting into the nitty-gritty of scenes.
- Scene structure
- Words and phrases
- Tension in every word
No worksheets for this phase. This is where you make choices about words, about how you tell the story, about dialogue, about description and language and colour. This is where your rough words become poetry.
The fourth quarter is about getting ready to submit. It’s about finishing up any polishing. It’s about writing a synopsis that captures your novel. It’s about drafting a query that makes people want to read your novel. It’s about researching agents and publishers, ready to submit on January 1, 2013.
The new first draft
And in between all this, you will be aiming to write at least 2,000 words a week on your new novel. Which is achievable for any one of us.