The Plotting Game

After zoning like a zombie doing the Carl thing yesterday (Where’s Carl?  Not in the house), I sort of hung out at the hotel last night listening to music–yes, I could stream–and thinking.  I’m always thinking, but last night I was thinking about . . .

NaNo.

Yeah, that’s starting.  I know I shouldn’t to that this early, as it’s only 10 September, but it’s on, okay?  Quietly, stealthily, like Kitty Pryde in full-on ninja mode with her dragon friend at her side, I started laying out things last night.  And by “things” what do you mean, oh Cassidy?  I mean I stared laying out the school year the way I know how to lay out the school year:  by plotting a time line.

I’d actually taken some notes a while back on this particular subject, and I knew where the year started, and when it ended.  I knew when the major school holidays and festivals occurred.  I knew when major school events happened.  So it was easy to take a time line I’d already put together for Camp NaNo and throw more things onto that.

I also needed to do a little digging to find out when a certain event happened in Cardiff, Wales, in 2011.  Why would I need that?  Because if you’re coming for a boy who is suppose to go to school there, do you want the mother to say, “But we’ll have to pull him out”, or do you want her to say, “He’s already registered”, and have her say this early Friday afternoon?  The later, of course–at least that’s when I wanted it to happen.  Fortunately there is this magic on the Internet called “Google”, and I discovered when Autumn Terms started in Cardiff in 2011.  Friday afternoon it was.

The rest of the time was going over notes, looking at the dates I selected, and putting them on the line.  It may not sound like a lot of time spent, but it certainly seemed that way.  I worked on the line until about ten PM, then slowly u-gathered my wits and headed off to sleep.  I slept well, but had confusing dreams about people at college who were all being annoying and spinning out over the littlest things.  Not my sort of thing.

I usually don’t start getting my novel ready until October, but last night I was too tired to edit, but not tired enough to roll over and collapse.  The time line has been bugging me for a while–like all summer while–and it’s something that I’ve been giving much thought, but doing little action.  I was coherent enough to think about dates, so why not work on the line?  It also gave me just enough to keep me from sitting around playing game and being on the nod all night, which I wanted to avoid, because that’s never fun.

Now I’m pulling things together, but I’m not under any pressure to hurry along.  I know the steps in the story, and I can see that a lot of things are getting front-loaded.  That’s probably Part One of the novel right there:  meeting the players and getting them to the U.S..  Part Two is likely going up to the end of the calendar year, 2011, and then . . .

Hey, I’m giving too much away–