Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Writer Re-Organizes

Over the holiday last weekend, I sat down and read my novel draft. I started my novel over a year ago but I have let life get in the way so much that every few months I have to sit down and reread what I've written. I made a lot of progress during November 2008 thanks to NaNoWriMo, but I haven't worked on it consistently since, so rereading what I had written was a surprise to me. (Imagine that!) It was as if someone else had written it. There were parts that made me think, "Wow, this is really good," and other parts where I said to myself, "Why did I make this character do that? What was I thinking?" It was a really interesting experience. As I've said, I've had the experience many times, but never with 20,000+ words in one sitting.

My goal now is to really buckle down and not let myself get to that point again, where I have to reread to remember. If I can't finish this novel now, when can I? When I'm in graduate school? When I have children? Now is the perfect time.

Anyway, I decided to jot down each scene on a small index card and put them up on a bulletin board. I've seen writers do this and it seems like a good way to: a) help me remember what I've written ;) and b) rearrange scenes and visualize the plot in a way that a super long Microsoft Word file does not. I've also color-coded according to who the narrator is and if the scene is written yet. I hope this works. Do any other writers out there have suggestions or insight into their own plotting processes?

1 comment:

stu said...

I tend to put down main plot points that the story needs to function, then work out the rest of the scenes around them, in terms of what's needed to get through them, what makes a good contrast, etc.

Or I just write and hope, depending on my mood.