Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Got organization?

It looks like I'm not an organized writer. I don't have storyboards or lots of diagrams with plot points and subplot points and character arcs, etc., etc.

But I wonder if I should have those things.

My mind often feels very cluttered. The only time it does not is when my desk is clean, the house is clean, and my children behave. In other words, my mind feels cluttered A LOT.

I think I suffer from a lack of focus. Honing in on one particular aspect of life is often quite difficult for me to do and I think my writing suffers because of it.

I've toyed with the idea of buying First Draft in 30 Days, but I would probably use it for the first five, then forget about it. I do that a lot.

So I'm not quite sure what my writing method is. I always write out a basic outline - not with Roman numerals, but just a page or so. I know where I'm going, but sometimes, I'm not quite sure how to get there. The sagging middle is not my friend.

Tonight, this is my goal: go over all my notes for my next historical, which I do not have a name for yet, and get organized.

With my nice, clean desk, I have no excuses!


  1. Melissa,
    Do you plot your stories out at all, or are you a fly by the seat of your pantster? I'm fascinated by anyone who can write like that. I think I would have a brain bleed if I tried. Or worse, sit there and stare at a blank sheet of paper all day chewing my nails down to nubbins.

  2. Kelly - I do a bit of both. I don't do very detailed outlines, and sometimes I end up writing into a dead end. I'm trying to learn from my last novel. I tend to have a good character sketch, even to the point of "interviewing" my characters. I know my beginning and my end, but often I have trouble on how everything ties together. I tell ya, I am truly a product of my creative mother and my very precise and scientific father!

  3. Organization? Declutter? Focusing? What are these words???

  4. If you always do an outline, then you're way more organized than I.

    A suggestion---just for your next story, try going to the other extreme. Try freewriting, no outline or plan, just follow whatever comes into your head. Sometimes, you don't know what you're writing about until you're actually putting words on paper. It has worked for me (sometimes, anyway).

    This is a well-written blog that I always enjoy looking into.

  5. I think everyone has to come to terms with their own method. Nothing works for me that other people do. I've added parts of processes I've heard about from other people, but for the most part I write the same way I have all along. I finally accepted that that is what worked for me.

  6. I'm still discovering what works for me. Outlines don't, I know that. Sometimes I'll write a short synopsis to "purge" a story out of my system. I'll let it simmer and come back to it later. If I'm still excited about it, I'll write it.

    Or sometimes I just write three chapters and figure it out from there. ;)

  7. I wish I could figure out what works best for me. This last book I wrote out quickly, but revised as I went along. Did it from the synopsis that I actually FOLLOWED. Boggle!

    Maybe I should try cleaning off my desk? Does that really work???

  8. Kacey - For some reason, having a clean desk just draws me to work. I have no idea why! But it might be worth a shot!:-)

  9. I'm a pure panster. I've tried the outlining thing to no avail. I have no idea what is going to happen next. It makes writing a synopsis a total bitch if I haven't finished the book.

  10. Anonymous12:28 PM

    Looking for information and found it at this great site... film editing classes


I love to hear from you!

New Digs

I've got a new home on the web - stop by if you get a chance!