I’ve heard numerous recommendations for white boards, bulletin boards, note cards and sticky notes for plotting a novel. Systems where you can list your chapters and scenes and then move them around at will. They always sound fabulous until I get home and try to implement them.
That’s when I run up against two fatal flaws:
- space constraints – I don’t have any place to mount the size board I’d need to deal with a novel in linear fashion (and I’m a very linear person)
- these are pen and ink functions…and I detest writing by hand.
Recently, I found an answer to my dilemma. Virtual Post-it Notes. Seriously. I think I’m in love! I’ve outlined my WIP, transferred the chapter titles and scene summaries onto color-coded virtual stickies that I arranged on a cyber-bulletin board. Now I can rearrange things as I write. And when I’m ready to do my second draft, I’ll be able to move scenes around on the cyber-board and then restructure the corresponding text when I’m all done. Too cool!!
Warning: If you try this program, be aware–it’s very annoying at first. Post-its pop-up everywhere and are in the way. Sheesh! I thought I’d have to delete the program before I got started, but I stuck to it (haha…no pun intended) and tamed the little monsters. Once domesticated, they’re AWESOME!! (Oh, and there’s a 30-day free trial, so you can play with it before you purchase.)
Okay. I’m now returning to my previously scheduled writing.