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31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 12

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31-Days-of-NaNoPrepMo-by-Katrina-OstranderDay 12: Where does the protagonist begin and what sets off the chain reaction?

Story and setting. Speaking of setting, now is the time to consider what the status quo for your protagonist looks like before they get caught up in the main conflict of the novel, or plot.

  • What does their daily routine look like?
  • What sorts of things are they looking forward to or dreading in the near future?
  • While you’re introducing the readers to “normalcy” for the protagonist, what is going on behind the scenes that’s conspiring to upset the protagonist’s life path?
  • What “inciting incident” starts the domino effect of disruption that eventually leads to the protagonist getting involved?
  • How might the inciting incident subtly begin to spill over into the protagonist’s daily routine before everything goes to hell?

Action Plan: Write down the answers to these questions, and think about what this might look like in terms of scenes or action. Start to develop thumbnails or storyboards of these first few scenes of the novel and decide what important setting or character details you want to convey early on, especially if you want to juxtapose these things or traits with a major reversal or change later on in the story.

Additional Reading: “The Ordinary World” from Justus R. Stone, “What is an Inciting Incident?” from The Editor’s Blog

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