NaNoWriMo Scene Planner

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    Scene planner, huzzah! You can access it below (and print it!) as well as see the full example for one of my Sightwitch scenes (I’m out of toner–hence the black and white printout).

    Now, the scene planner combines what I personally use when writing a scene–specifically emotional dominoes, magic cookies, and scene screenplays. Keep in mind that this is my method, and it might not work for you. There is no right way to write a book. 🙂

    (Also, keep in mind that these planners aren’t ONLY intended for drafting! You can also use them for revisions!)

    Okay, let’s go through each section. To start we have the scene #. That should be pretty self-explanatory.

    Next, you’ll see the box called “Scene.” This is where you can put a scene title. This can just be a quick summary or description so you can glance at the page and know which scene you’re working with.

    To the right of that, we have our “POV” (point of view) box. If you’re working with multiple POVs, then you this will help you keep track of whose head(s) you’re in for that scene.

    Moving over one more box, we have our “Goal” box. This is your word count goal for the scene. I almost ALWAYS put 1000 words (since that’s also my daily word count goal), and most scenes I write will be at least 1000 words.

    Alright, now we get into the parts that are specific to my personal method: “Magic Cookies!!” Magic cookies are the little bits that make me excited to write a scene. If there’s nothing that excites you about a scene…well, then that’s problematic. Your passion transfers to the page, so keeping track of what you’re actually passionate about (the cookies!) will help you keep your writing strong.

    So, in this scene from my example, I was most excited about writing Kullen Ikray’s character. I love how my POV character hates him.

    Moving down, we hit our “Emotional Dominoes.” These are the emotional beats from the previous scene, and if you want to read more about them, head here, here, and here.

    Basically, keeping track of what a character feels and should feel allows me to make sure that a book’s emotional core not only rings true but that characters always behave “in character.”

    Last, and possibly more important (for me, at least) is the giant box for the “Scene Screenplay.” This is where you scribble down a basic plan for what you’re going to write in that scene. I like to get pretty specific, writing full dialogue and indicating physical movements (just like a screenplay!). Then, when I draft, I simply have to fill in all the emotional beats.

    Note: I don’t write scene screenplays until right before I actually draft the scene. This is because I’m a headlights outliner. But if you’d rather draft up screenplays for every scene before you draft, then go for it! Or, if you’d rather use the screenplays as revision tools for after you’ve drafted, then do it! There is no right way to write a book after all. 🙂

    Let me know if you have any questions!

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    I really like this idea and wanted to recreate its function for my book that is now on the process for reprinting at

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