I am getting ready to join NaNoWriMo for the month of November. So I am working hard on plotting the book, setting up characters, and figuring out the different settings I will be using. This is the hardest book I have ever worked on. This is a book I have been trying to write for over three years. Maybe writing it now when I have to push through the writer's block and get some major stuff done each day is not a good idea, but that's what I'm doing. This whole month of October I will be putting together a huge folder with everything I need inside. I have never been so organized. I'll let you know later if it works out for me or not. Here is what I am doing:
1. Major Outline: In the past I have jotted down a quick outline in a notebook, sometimes making index cards to help me on my way. That didn't work out for me this time. I had to make an extensive outline. First, I took the ideas for each scene (one or two sentences) and turned them into huge paragrpahs. Second, I added even more detail to each, adding pieces of dialogue and the emotions the characters are dealing with. I want this outline to be so complete that writing the actual prose turns out to be a walk in the park.
2. Character Sheets: I always fill out character bios, but this time I'm taking it a bit farther. I am writing first person bios, filling in detailed sheets, and interviewing the characters. I want to know them better than I know my own mother. By the time I start writing this book, I want to know without having to think about it exactly how my characters would react in any given situation.
3. Setting Sheets: Usually I just write and figure out my setting as I go along. But this time I am filling out sheets on setting. I want to know exactly what every room and every exterior place looks like down to the last details.
Now, I have printed off all of this stuff and put the pages in protective sheets so I can place them in a nice binder. I'll let you know in December how it worked out.