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The Last Week of NaNo Prep

by Kellyn Roth |
October 27, 2015

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I don’t know how it is for you, but for me outlining in the technical sense of outlining is nearly impossible! I can do it for already-existent works, but I can’t make an outline out of the swirling plotline (or lines) in my head!
November 1st will be this coming Sunday and I haven’t gotten an outline. I’ve gotten several start-to-finish summaries (most of which aren’t up-to-date with my most recent ideas) but no outlines. And I feel like I ought to work from a strict outline with Ivy Inquisitive (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 2) since it has (so far, at least) a very flippant, arbitrary plot that needs a lot of work.
I don’t want to do that work mid-November … so I’m trying to do it now. But, though I’m definitely not a pantser, I’m not an outliner, either. 🙂
I outlined the prologue because I know exactly what that’s going to look like … but I haven’t been able to outline much more of the book. Because I can’t put scenes into words. Even then, my outline is not in the strictest sense and outline.


Main Points: introduction to setting, time period, style, and some of the  main plots. Shows backstories.

Pearlbelle Park, Kent, England. May 22nd 1867.

Mr. Parker and his daughter Posy (newborn) are in the Pearlbelle nursery. He’s talking to her. He blames Posy for his wife Lydia’s death (she died during childbirth).
His father (Captain Parker) walks in suddenly. He says he’s come to see his son and grandchild. Mr. Parker lets it be known that he doesn’t want Captain Parker or Posy and he wishes they’d both go away.
Captain Parker laughs, says a few rather cruel and bitter things, but in the end announces that if Mr. Parker doesn’t want her, he’ll take Posy and raise her himself.
Mr. Elton walks in and Captain Parker proves that he can care for Posy. Mr. Parker is enthusiastic in insisting that Captain Parker should take Posy.
Mr. Elton relents and says that Captain Parker can take Posy if he takes good care of her. He feels that she would be better of with the clean life and love Captain Parker offers than with the bitter, resentful Mr. Parker (who intends to go off to Europe for a few years and stay away from Pearlbelle).
Charles Chattoway has come to Pearlbelle for the funeral. He comforts Lois Elton (who is mourning her sister). He starts to tell her that he loves her, but decides not to.
“No … this wasn’t the time. He’d let her grieve. In a year … or two or three or four years … when the time was right, when they were both ready, when he got up the courage, when she was obviously showing signs of interest … he’d consider it. But not now. Now was not the time.”
Mr. (Charles) Chattoway travels to his townhouse in London. His sisters (Miss Chattoway and Miss Christina), also upset over their friend Lydia Elton-Parker’s death, are waiting for him. Miss Christina is a mess, naturally, being extremely emotional. Miss Chattoway is quiet and thoughtful.
Miss Chattoway tells Mr. Chattoway that she’s been getting more and more worried about Ivy recently and now she’s very upset (on the inside, naturally) because she feels that there is something wrong with Ivy (aged 5) more than physically.
Mr. Chattoway agrees: “Ivy isn’t normal. She’s definitely behind Alice physically and mentally. We’d better let it be for a few years … but I want her to be allowed to grow as she will. Don’t make her be a perfect little English schoolgirl as you will Alice. Don’t expect her to be her sister; she’s not Alice, she’s Ivy. She may blossom in her own time.”

It’s more of a summary than an outline, but I think it’s going to work. 🙂
How do you go about planning your novels?
~Kellyn Roth

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7 Responses

    1. I know. Posy does have her grandmother (and their cook, Mrs. McGoy) and never really knew her parents though so she’s a pretty happy little creature. Besides, it’s in her nature to be cheerful about everything … she’s a bit Pollyanna-ish, only subconsciously.

  1. That is a GREAT Prologue!
    I like the time you set it up. I am writing a book for NaNo this year set in the 19th Century, to be exact: 1840. So this if going to be a first for me, I usually write in now-day times, but I hope it goes well.
    Keep up the GREAT work!

    1. Thanks … hopefully it will turn out all right when I actually write it! Let me know if you need someone to check your historical facts or whatever … though I’m sure you’ll be able to manage by yourself. 🙂

  2. Fantastic!
    I especially LOVE Miss Chattoway when she’s like “She’s not Alice, she’s Ivy. She will blossom in her own time.”
    I think it’s a great way to open into the book!
    My planning is going terrible!
    I just don’t know how to get the thoughts in my head down onto an ORDERED list!
    Which is kinda exactly what a writer is supposed to do… 😉
    I think I’m just gonna WRITE and let the characters do what they wanna do…maybe not the best decision…but I’ll see if it works!
    I got the idea from a friend…so we’re in it together–one for all and all for one!
    😉 🙂

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