It's been a month of sick here, so I am woefully behind in story prep. But my characters finally have names, I have a general idea of where they are going, and I pretty much know what's going to happen in the first act. (For my simplified rundown of 3 Act plot structure and how I plan for the month ahead, read here.) Beyond that, I've got nothing. I have a map, but I still don't have place names for anything on there. Hopefully I can get to that later . . . not sure when later . . . this is Halloween and I am a mom and all. Still, I have a start. I've tried all methods for writing: NaNo, non-NaNo, pantsing, plotting. They all work to a certain degree, but for me I find the best method is a hybrid pantsy-plotting approach. I develop a very vague spine for my story (usually a couple of major turning points and a possible climax), then I just run with it and figure things out as I go. And index cards. Have I mentioned my love of colored index cards?
Act One is hanging there with notes on it, sort of planned out. The rest of the cards are typical plot points that I might or might not use. They simply serve as guideposts on this journey. I can use them or not, but they provide a nice map of where I can go next if I ever get stuck. I also add scene cards as I go along. Once again, I'm pretty visual, so it helps me to "see" my story this way. Also, this way . . .
I have a few other pictures that I dragged straight into Scrivener, which I LOVE and always use for drafting now. The update (yes, it's been that long since I've written) is great, and I already love having those character and setting templates built in. Not that I've filled them out yet. Ahem.
Next item of business: after-Halloween clearance sale candy. For daily word-count rewards. Absolute necessity. Fret not. I have a dental cleaning scheduled for early December.