Organizational Freak Out

I’m a virgo and the daughter of a control freak, so it should come as no surprise that I’m a bit of an organizational freak with control challenges – OK, OK, I’m a full-on control freak, too. This year I decided to up the crazypants ante by enrolling in NaNo. To really throw myself under the bus, I figured I’d share what I’ve done to prepare.

Think up story idea.

No problem. I’m working on High and Dry Creek, book three of my Dry Creek series. This is tightly-wound Sam Layton’s story. And let me tell you, he’s really met his match in Josie Winarsky, a tall, platinum blonde, tattooed painter who is hell bent on finding a long-buried treasure. With Sam at her side and a Las Vegas loan shark’s muscle hot on her trail, the treasure she finds turns out to be much more valuable than emeralds and rubies.

Research, research, research.

High and Dry Creek will feature a treasure hunt (whhhhhheeeeeee!) for valuables buried during the Oregon Trial time period by a Layton family ancestor. So I did quite a bit of Internet research about that time period and got to talk with several park rangers. A huge shout out to Scottsbluff National Monument Park Ranger A.J. Legault and Seasonal Ranger Jerry Lucas as well as Chimney Rock Visitor Center Director Loren Pospisil for taking the time to chat with me.

Plot. Then plot some more.

I love all you pantsers out there but I think you guys are all nuts. Yes, I am a die-hard plotter. I’ve tried the half pantser/half plotter lifestyle. It did not go well. I outline every scene with the following points (thank you John Foxjohn and Donald Maass):

  1. Location
  2. POV
  3. Goal
  4. Conflict
  5. Disaster
  6. Reaction
  7. Dilemma
  8. Decision
  9. Hook

Find inspiration.

I found photos on iStock and the internet for inspiration for my characters, location and moods. For High and Dry Creek, I got to make a treasure map. That was fun and only made possible by the use of photo editing software because even stick people are beyond my artistic talents.

Commence freak out.

I finished my prep work about three days prior to the beginning of NaNo and since I couldn’t write yet that gave me plenty of time to freak out. What if the words don’t come? What if I spend a month staring at my laptop and crying so hard snot rolls down my face? What if I do manage to write but it’s all crap? AHHHHHHHHHH???!!!!???

As I type this, it’s Oct. 31. Tomorrow I have to put on my big girl panties and get to work. Come find me at NaNo’s website. I’m listed as AveryFlynn and I may need to be talked down off the ledge.