The Ability to Organize
Something I’m good at! This is kind of like going through the last book we covered: characters, location, action, and making sure they all fit together in a cohesive storyline. Sound familiar? Well, we have a new idea to work with, a spreadsheet to keep track of what you wrote, how long it is, and when you wrote it.
We better fuel up for this one. I will meet you around the coffee pot in the kitchen/breakroom. Today I get to have oatmeal for my breakfast nibble. Who decided oatmeal was a wonderful choice for breakfast? Do any of you eat it willingly and not because you are on a diet? Do you just think to yourself, ‘Hmmm…oatmeal? Yes, let’s eat a bowl of paste. Delish.’ Oh well. If I am gonna get my test numbers down and my weight even further down, then oatmeal it is. Yum. Okay, let’s grab our copies of The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer, our cuppa and nibbles, and meet on the reading rug. I’ll be there in a minute. My oatmeal is circling around the microwave. **Beep. Beep, Beep ** Argh
We are on page 12 and looking at organization. Let’s start with the idea of a spreadsheet that Mr. Mayer mentioned. The spreadsheet is not an outline for our stories. It is something to fill in as we write to keep track of what is done. It will help if you ever have to go back and look something up. So, this is how we would set it up:
- Chapter number- for you.
- Start page number for that chapter- for you.
- End page number of that chapter- for you.
- The date and time of the week the action was taken- for you.
- Time- for you.
- Time zones in your story – if your characters do not change time zone this is not required.
- The location of action in the story.
- A brief description of the action so you can remember what you wrote for quick access.
Let’s see if I can create an example. I am just going to throw random things in here.
|Chapter||Start Page||End Page||Date/Day||Local Time||International Time||Location||Action Summary|
|Prologue||1||12||1/1/2020||8:00am 2:22pm||N/A||Pittsburg||Got on a train to meet a friend.|
|1||13||27||1/2/2020||7:50am 11:34am||N/A||NYC||Jewelry store Robbed|
Okay, this looks kinda like the image on pages 238-239 of the book. Remember, you can alter this in any way that works best for you. Like, the international time is not required in my story. I could put names of the characters in that scene instead. Make it work for you. Add more columns, take some away, make one your word count for the day, make it yours.
Research. My favorite word. Do it now instead of later. Having research done before hand will allow your story to flow faster. You won’t have to pause to look things up. It will be right there waiting for you to write about it. It will make it easier if you are writing a series. You will know upfront what you have used, when, and where so you don’t use it again.
An Active Imagination
Who ever thought the thing we got scolded for as children would be something we needed in our future? Your crazy, kooky imagination is what will create worlds and characters we will all fall in love with. You must have the ability to think a dozen steps forward for multiple characters. If A does this, B would have to do something, so C can do that. It’s multitasking at its best. You are in control. But the key word here is control. If you are writing a non-fiction story, then your character can’t float off into space. It isn’t possible. If, however, you are writing a romance in space then let the dude float! Remember, in fiction we can play with reality. Tilt things a bit.
How are we doing so far? For me, we aren’t in far enough for me to make a real judgement call. I’m on the fence at the moment leaning slightly to one side. But it can change. Let’s keep going. Tomorrow we will venture into The Mind and Content and Desire. Sounds fun.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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