The writer’s toolbox is a varied thing. Each and every writer has different ideas of what to put in one. That is a topic for another time however. What I wanna talk about today is beat sheets. You know, those worksheets one can use to help know where your story is going, help create an outline. Not that I use one of those… I am a pantser, but I do like to have a bit of knowledge of my story, a bit of structure.
I have been doing a ton of looking around the web lately for those wonderful little helpers. Of course I never find what I like, what I think is the best, but I do take the best of what I find and create my perfect worksheets.
What about you? Do you use any prefab worksheets to learn things about your up and coming novel? Do you use them after you have your WIP up and running? Or do you create your own outline? Or pants the heck out of it? What is your process?
And so it begins for me! The NaNoWriMo countdown! Any who have followed my blog for a while know that I LIVE for NaNo in all its marvelous forms. From Camp NaNo in the summer to full fledged NaNo in November! So please bear with me as I will am planning to write much the next couple months and take you on this journey with me. That said, I am rather excited for NaNo this year. I am once again ML and as I have been struggling with my writing I am hoping that this give it a kick start, and get me back fully in my writing groove. I have to make my 50k with my role as ML, so here is to an exciting idea, and a productive NaNo!!!
I have once again found my excitement for writing, now I just have to manage to get back in the habit of writing. With that in mind, I have been neglecting my blog a little as I am trying to plan for my novel this year. I think I have finally decided on what story I am going to write, but now is the hard part of planning some base characters, having them tell me their names, setting up some of the back story so I know a bit about the world they will be taking me to.
Now, I am more of a pantser, so this whole planning thing is a little hard. I no longer find it constricting as I have learned much from a few helpful websites and my own trial and error. Every year I participate in NaNo I have learned more about my writing style than I could have ever learned from any amount of books! I have also been reading through my newest copy of Writer’s Digest. It is one of the most helpful things I have found for inspiring my thought process and helping to learn new things for my writing craft. This months copy has been most helpful indeed.
So with that, what have you found to be helpful? What resources have taught you the most? What has been the most helpful to your writing? Are there websites you return to again and again? Are there books that are full of little flags and notes in the margin? Please share! I love learning of new resources.
Working hard on my Camp NaNo story I decided that this time around I needed more than just a rough sketch of my story. Having a planet hopping, ship captain for a main character means that my locations and cultures are always changing. That means I need to know a lot more than just what I am adding to my story and I need a way to keep all the information straight. Having come to this realization I started furiously writing on my post-it notes. Trying to figure out what I need to add, what I already know, and different area’s of my story. This is what I have come up with so far:
With this in mind I also set to work finding a place to keep little storyline notes online. I like to keep as much about my story online as I can, that way I can always have access to my writing on the go. The search led me to Trello I am really excited to start trying that out as well. Having the hard copy up on my wall is great, but I can’t carry that in my pocket.
Each section is color coded so I know at a quick glance what it is. The purple is questions raised from what I have already, the Orange is things I know so far, the Yellow are places, the Light Pink are my characters and the Dark Pink is my Plot Points. Next I am going to get all my scenes figured in and then figure out what plot points they go with, and make a timeline so I know when things are happening! I am pretty excited to see where this leads, as I think it will really help flesh out my story more and make it possible to wrap up all my loose ends. Wouldn’t want to leave anything unknown…
How about you? What do you do to keep track of your story? The places and people in it, and the plot points and how they will pan out?