Saturday, May 29, 2010

Old School

I'm eighty pages into my new wip, and it hits me . . .

I'm out of control.
I've lost grasp of my original vision.

I think of it like the panicky moment I feel when I take a walk and get lost in the woods (happens often, I'm sorry to say). I have no choice but to walk forward, confidently, until I find a familiar landmark.

Perhaps you can relate.

I had to do something, so I pulled out the paper products and went old school.

First, I knew I wanted to work more on character development, but I didn't want to lose the plot points and quick pacing required for this particular story. Also, this story is told from more than one point of view, so I wanted to make sure each character has a say in what happens.

I pulled out my notebook and made a list of plot points and the characters involved in each.

Next, I purchased a box of index cards in different colors.

I wrote out scenes on the cards and color coded them according to the character doing the action. (Not sure why I made a cross . . .)

I placed all of the cards out on a table and put them in chronological order. I checked to make sure each of the main characters had equal say in the process. I numbered the cards, and stacked them in order. I now have a path to follow.

I would love to hear about some of the old school techniques you use for planning and drafting your work.

The tried and true lives on . . .


  1. I get a stack of notebook paper, one page for every chapter, writing title at the top with characters in the scene below. Then I date/time stamp each chapter/page and lay them out in order. Then I use highlighter to color code chapters (green - fast scene, rising action; red - slow scene, reflection; yellow - mid-tempo, dialogue or character development). I look to see that I have a good variety of colors. Yep, I'm a nerd :)

  2. Wow! I love the color coding idea. I can see how that would help.

    Nerds of the writing world unite!