Saturday, November 7, 2015

Plots and Cold Calling - Lessons from NaNoWriMo

A phone call from a sales person and a plot seem worlds apart, but I had a revelation this month as I wrote 3000 words on #DoubleUpDay during #NaNoWriMo2015, and they actually are not as far apart as you might think.

My husband and I were talking about whether to use a script or not when cold calling. He is a realtor and calling people is sometimes part of the job. Even though some of his best calls happen when he goes off script, he told me that a script is a necessary tool for any sales person, whether they are new or experienced, because "it frees up your mental space, so you can think more clearly about your responses."

I thought this was exceptionally wise, just from a sales perspective. But then I had one of those "aha" moments today as I was writing my words for NaNoWriMo. Having a script while writing does exactly the same thing!

I had a complete 11 page plot outline ready to go one week prior to November 1st. And I know some die-hard pantsers out there think that this means I would be immediately bored with my story, but this is not at all true, and especially not so when you are writing the entire thing in 30 days. You just don't have the time to get bored.

Having a plot to follow is just like having a script to follow in a sales situation. You might think you would get bored saying the same thing to everyone time and time again, not only does it never get boring, but it also frees up your mental space. Today, I had a plot point in mind that I was heading toward, but between where I started and that plot point, things happened that I did not expect. And by not having to spend all my mental energy trying to think of what was coming next in the plot, I had this massive amount of brain space freed up to think about all the finer points and details along the way.

This is my most year is my most productive yet for a NaNoWriMo. I am at the end of week one and already over 15,000 words. The plot has had a lot to do with that.

©2015 Amanda June Hagarty

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