As I make the change from a pantser to a plotter, I thought I would share some of the things I like and some I’m not so thrilled with. Since I’m always a ‘the glass is half full creeping to full’ or ‘your side of the fence may look greener but that’s only because it’s paint concrete. Mine is grass and with a little water it will be green’ sort of girl, I’m starting with a like.
A calendar ~ yup high tech stuff here. I picked up this 18 month planner at my local Target store on clearance for $6.00. I’ll be able to use it for several of my novellas since none of the ones I have in my writing queue are over a year and they aren’t year sensitive.
I’m sure Goggle Calendar or some other form of electric calendar would work as well and maybe better for you. The thing to remember as with actually writing – it’s a personal presence.
How I use the calendar ~
On the monthly pages, I write my timeline (outline of events). I keep these to short description. For the suspense/romance I’m plotting and will be using as an example through this Wednesday series, I included pre-story events. Zak (hero) is having a problem with an old girlfriend being crazy so I wrote down the dates of the incidents that occurred before he arrived at the B&B. They are mentioned so I wanted to make sure I had a timeline and this also kept me from having everything occur on a Tuesday.
The daily pages for the months (2 ½ for this one) that my WIP actually occurs I use as brief chapter summaries. For example, June is when the WIP begins. My hero and heroine meet June 4th but the first event doesn’t occur until the 14th. What happens in those 10 days and in what chapters?
So the daily pages looks something like this ~
Chap 1 & 2 – Zak arrives at the B&B and confronts Paul – Tessa’s soon to be ex-boyfriend.
Chap 3 – Tessa goes to visit her friend, Callie to plan the September harvest gala to be held at the B&B
I have found this VERY helpful. It’s my timeline at a glance. If I need to ‘refresh’ my memory on what Tessa made for lunch the day Zak arrived I’d refer to my notes but if I’m having a conversation with Zak and Tessa about the time Zak’s old girlfriend doctored his drink with sleeping pills, I just flip through the calendar. Or if I have a day where ‘nothing’ of interest happens then I know I need a bridge something like…
It rained all day Wednesday, so they spent the day lounging on the screened in porch reading and talking. Tessa couldn’t remember a time she felt so at peach with someone.
But this morning looking at the dead flowers littering her walk away…
So have any of you found interesting ways to keep your timelines? If so please share.