I have a new method of planning my book. Let’s see how long this one lasts.
I still have the preparatory notebook, which contains all the things I thought of before I started writing the book. And there’s the current notebook, with a list of all the characters and some research notes and a few scenes I’ve written ahead of time. That’s fairly organised for me.
This time, I went and bought five sheets of thick wrapping paper from the bookshop. It has to be thick, because felt tip pen soaks through the thin stuff. Flip chart paper would have done too, but not so easy to get around here. I just needed large sheets of paper. I stuck them, pattern side down, on the a wall around my desk.
One has a list of characters, with names and a brief salient fact for each one. I can refer back to my notebook if I need more information. One has a list of reminders – remember this theme, mention that fact and so on. The other three will be filled up with lists of the scenes I have to write. I tend to think a few scenes ahead of the one I write, so this reminds me what comes next, and what they lead into. Plus, there’s a sense of achievement as I cross off the scenes I have written.
Having them stuck up the wall means I just have to look up and see them as I write, and also that they’re constantly in front of me when I’m just moving around my flat. Using several sheets of paper stuck to the wall means I can move them around according to how important they are, and when they’re needed, and I can always add more paper.
Now I’m back at my day job, for the moment, I can’t write every day. It’s really easy to lose the flow, and to lose the motivation. With the scenes and reminders and characters stuck up on the wall like this, I have a constant reminder of what is happening, and what I need to write, and I am motivated to keep at it.
I’ve used a lot of methods of giving my writing some sort of organisation. I don’t plan my books, I tend to just dive right in and write away, so I need to organise my ideas somehow, or something gets lost. I think this method works best, so far.