Thoughts on plotting by scene

Most years, my plot outline only goes down to level of chapters. This has worked moderately well for me, but allowed my writing to get out of hand. So as I mentioned before, I decided to break it down further into scenes, which I then assigned a wordcount goal (to make NaNoWriMo easier, but also to keep the scenes relatively balanced). Stories need a certain shape to them, a thing which I’ve never consciously mastered; it’s one thing to decide it feels right, another to actual understand why it works.

Anyway, it’s mostly been working for me. Some are slightly under the goal; others are a bit over. By sticking close to my goals, I can keep a scene from dragging on too long, a thing which I find dogs my writing. On the other hand, sometimes I get to the scene, and have no idea how I could have ever thought this particular bit could last for 1600 words! It’s a fun learning process, though. I’m able to put more thought into what I’m writing rather than just babbling until it seems like I’ve done enough. It’s a lot slower than my usual style, which does cause me a little worry. Slow is not your friend during Nano.

Here’s some art by thienbao that is inspiration for a vampire story idea I still have to write.

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