Just do it, find out where your real energies are, your real beliefs. It’s less expensive than a psychiatrist is and your cat already knows all about you.
About a third of the way through the draft, you might lose momentum. Don’t worry. This is the secret draft. You may feel frustrated and discouraged, but don’t let it stop you. No one will know.
If you’re having problems, create a storyboard to keep you going.
Storyboards for writing, not advance planning.
A storyboard can be as helpful for writing your novel as it is for animators and film directors. Write on an index card the basic idea of a scene.
Ben asks Abigail to marry him.
He’s worried their child
is actually Chad’s baby.
You can color code the cards to mark different kinds of scenes, or for different chapters in your novel. You can include specific information about a scene.
Each card might describe the scene in a few sentences and you put it on a pink card for "advancing the plot" or a green card for "developing a character."
Use the storyboard the same way you did your leapfrog outline. Use the index card storyboard to ‘troubleshoot’ your secret draft. With storyboarding, you can literally write down the ideas behind the big moments of your scene and you can plot just ahead of where you are. It helps you write in a linear fashion.
Of course, storyboarding is a common approach to scene writing used by filmmakers. Storyboards give you the opportunity to see how scenes link with one another and the larger story. Planning scenes in this way, as you are writing, won’t kill your spontaneity. Some scenes and events will only occur to you as you write. Once you have your secret draft done, you can go back, delete and consolidate scenes using your storyboard cards.
Breaking your novel down into scenes while writing the secret draft can help you ensure your novel has a strong narrative drive and the pieces of it connect to one another. Remember, your readers want your story to keep on keeping on.
Above from the book NOVEL SECRETS,
available for Kindle for only $2.99: