♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Share how you keep your characters, storylines, etc., organized. Do you use an outline? Notecards? Post-its all over your walls?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Sometimes it gets so complicated. You wonder if wading this far into the waters is necessary for the narrative. What does it matter? Does the reader really need to know all of this? Maybe not.
Brevity is a term I have heard used quite often about books lately. So much so, I wonder if it is books we’re really writing anymore and not vignettes. Big publishers want us to say good-bye to the sweeping novels we study in literature class. Yet, we still hold them on high as well-written tomes for the ages. The would be modern writer, however, is supposed to write a novel in the space of a pamphlet, in comparison.
I don’t like it. I never have. My style is not brevity for the sake of Papa-esque books. I was never in love with him either. Brevity was not the point of our forebears. The words that mattered in the order necessary to convey messages known and unknown, telling a completely immersive story was the point. Brevity wasn’t exactly the horse to pull the cart.
That said, writing concisely I can get behind. Concise writing is words that matter in the order necessary to convey messages known and unknown, to tell a completely immersive story. One uses exactly the words needed to describe everything that is necessary to the vehicle of the story. But even in concise writing, keeping everything straight requires notes.
Face it, our lives are pretty busy. A lot of us authors have families and friends, as well as jobs outside of the writing. We have lives that we live and sometimes those lives interrupt our writing days. Making notes assists in keeping us on track.
I don’t plot out my stories on paper. I know where I am starting, and certain points I wish to reach along the path to the ending I’ve envisioned. In fact, often, I don’t write a word until I’ve mulled over a story in my head for a good long time. Then I breakdown to smithing those images from my head into words on a page.
My dark fantasy, paranormal series, The Trailokya Trilogy, was one of the most complicated projects I have worked on yet. I had three pages of character based notes in a word document. They covered who, what faction, ranks, incarnations, list of ethnicities as well as species. There is a great deal to consider in this work. Most of it has been with me since I was a small girl, just a bit older than my daughter at the time of this blog. When I sat to write it down, however, many things still needed to be decided upon and named. This is a rich world, built to be complicated and realistic. It spans multiple universes and multiple planets within a universe. It spans a large arch of time. Yes. I wrote notes.
Notes came on post-its or scraps, sometimes full sheets of paper. More often, I wrote myself emails. I message myself images and content to this day for promotion and the ongoing companion book. There is still a lot to do! The first three books are written. Hopefully the third will be released soon.
I have never created a plot wall, but I have seen them. I don’t have a bulletin board. I try to keep things electronic, or in a folder and notebook. I buy paper journals to manage my blog notes, so that I can carry them anywhere with me. After all, the mood strikes when it will. I don’t have the time to copy notes over, but I have used post-it notes and taped them inside. Emails are a major way for me to remind myself of things. None of it is more organized than the paper plot walls, which I think are excellent–even if they remind me of CSI stuff. I may, eventually, create something like that when I have my own home office. At this time, there is no wall space to do such a thing, and I haven’t had wall space of the kind needed for it yet.
An interesting sidenote: Final Draft, the screenwriting platform, has a view that looks like a index card plot wall for the script project. It’s very satisfying to look at!
Let’s hop on over and see what the other authors have to say about how they’re keeping it straight…