Getting Organised

14 Feb

Image

A friend recently asked me if I know what happens at the end of my novel. Of course I know what happens at the end, and could have told the story in a thousand words, but my challenge is to tell it in at least fifty thousand.

This week has been a school holiday and since I had no plans to travel, I have devoted the time to writing.  Rising early to grapple with a stagnant plot which needed a breakthrough in order to move to the next phase. I needed to get organized.  Here’s what I did:

  • I printed a hard copy of the work so far
  •  read through it and decided where each chapter should begin and end,
  • made notes about character links and descriptions within each chapter and stapled them to the chapters for ongoing reference
  • arranged the chapters along the dining table and studied their content
  • THE BREAKTHROUGH !
  • it occurred to me that the novel would work better if it began with chapter three, thus eliminating a lot of the early writing, the content of which can be revealed gradually as the story progresses

This visual organization, which took a morning to complete on the first day of my writing week, enabled me to loosely plan the following chapters and get on with the task.

 

 

4 Responses to “Getting Organised”

  1. robinpletcher February 15, 2014 at 4:55 am #

    Glad you made that breakthrough! Often I write stuff in the first few chapters to kind of get my bearings. Then, when I go back to edit, I find I don’t need most of it because I either explained it better later on, or it’s stuff the readers can just figure out. Weird how we don’t have to write everything we know about the worlds we’ve built to make a cohesive story.

    • seasidekate February 15, 2014 at 10:10 am #

      So true! It was so liberating to realize I could discard chunks of the labored explanations and back story which didn’t flow as well as the later writing. Thanks for contributing.

  2. vonzex February 15, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    I love working chapter-by-chapter with hard copies. How writers used to write…

    • seasidekate February 15, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      Yes! Much more satisfying to see the physical accumulation of your efforts. Thanks for contributing.

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