So as I've been re-reading my notes and getting further into a very academic but decently helpful book about Bristol, England's port, I've also been casting around for ideas on how to better outline a story.
I seem to have a problem where I run out of steam on a novel, usually by climax time, and I don't ratchet the tension up enough and it falls apart toward the end. So, in order to not do that, as well as to get a sense of where the story is going before I'm two hundred pages in, I skimmed through a book I've had for a few years called The Marshall Plan Workbook by Evan Marshall.
Has anybody used this?
Not sure if it'll necessarily help me, but it was good to take a look through it again. The workbook has lived on my floor. My dad bought it for me when I was in high school and so, there are notes and questions answered on stories I didn't even bring around to the writing stage. It's kind of funny to read those notes now.
The reason why I wanted to look through it again after at least a decade of it languishing on the bookshelf I can't reach easily is because I remembered that the workbook had these worksheets where scenes could be planned out. They look like this, on the right:
I was hoping that I could either use or adapt the methods in the book for use in outlining things for The Sailor's Daughters. Because this story has a lot of strands and if I'm going to write it in the way I really want to, I'm going to have to plan it out carefully. The sheets are called Action Sheets. And though I've learned--through NaNo--that I can write a pretty detailed outline and adhere to it for the most part, I'm not so much of an outliner that I feel okay conforming to someone else's system. Planning the next draft has to be done in a way in that makes sense to me, you know?