Oh ho, Check Me Out

I spent my afternoon/ evening today outlining The Death Effect with index cards, multi-colored pens and pushpins, and a cork-board.  And I was completely wrong about feeling pigeon-holed.  I feel completely the opposite.  I am inspired!

I went through the word document where I’ve been writing TDE and I made a notecard for each chapter/scene.  Each character POV got a different color pen/ink.  I then put the notecards in chronological order by character and pinned them to the board.  If I’d already written the first draft of the chapter, the notecard got a clear pin.  If I’d already written a partial first draft of the chapter, the notecard got a green pin.  And if it was just a concept/idea for the chapter, the notecard got a blue or purple pin (I didn’t have enough of one or the other color!).

As I wrote out these cards and put them in order, I found myself thinking about what happens to each character- where the story takes them.  It was amazing.  I was visualizing scenes again!  In fact, I imagined the last scene of my semi MC, Taylor, and she’s been causing me major problems lately.  You see, I tend to base my main characters on myself and the people close to me.  I can’t help it, it’s just the way I am.  One of these days I’ll write an MC who is in no way like me or anyone I know, but for now…  Okay, so back to my original point.  Taylor has been giving me a hard time lately because I like Taylor, but the person in my life who she is based on has really been pissing me off lately.  She’s been a flat out B*tch to me.  I’m sure she doesn’t read this blog, but just in case, I won’t mention her by name.  Anyways, because this real person has been pissing me off, I haven’t been able to write Taylor with any degree of objectivity or feeling.  But, this outlining exercise has really worked to get me out of my funk!  I was able to separate Taylor from my real life drama, because Taylor is experiencing a much different kind of pain than I am, and  now I know exactly where her story is going.  I’m so excited.

I’m sure that my outline will change.  In fact, when I typed it up (because I’m OCD like that- I mean what if something happens to all the cards, I needed a backup!) I already changed things.   And I’m sure that I’ll add more chapters than I have planned right now, but I feel rejuvenated.

God, I needed this.  I needed some hope.  I need something in my life that feels like it’s on an upward climb, not a downward spiral.

Part of me feels like this book is going to produce some of my best writing, yet another part of me is so scared that it will be just another thing I don’t finish.  Hopefully with this rocking outline, I’ll continue to remain motivated.

8 thoughts on “Oh ho, Check Me Out

  1. Rach – you’re inspiring me!! I wish I wasn’t just starting edits and revisions! I love the color-coded notecards – very OCD 🙂

    I can’t wait to see what you do with the story – let me know as soon as you start posting!!

    🙂 Ang

    1. haha, I’m not usually this organized, which has probably been my problem in the past. I’ve decided I’m not going to post any more chapters until I’m finished with the book because the feedback (for the most part) I’ve been getting has really been depressing me and making it impossible for me to want to write. I know I need a thicker skin, but I think it will be better to wait to post until after the whole thing is written so I know what order the chapters are going in and can answer plot/character questions better.

      1. When I first started with TNBW, I was truly awful. Often, I wanted to throw in the towel. Even now, I look back to the writing I wrote a year ago and can’t believe I wrote it. Don’t worry, we all go through those rough patches but really, your premise is amazing and your characters need to tell their stories.

        I was just thinking, perhaps write the book from on POV at a time. For example, finish the sister’s POV first. Then, do the cop, then the mother, etc. Just a thought.

        Whatever you do, don’t stop writing. You have talent.

        ann

      2. I think I’m going to just try and relax and let the scenes come to me in their own time. That’s how I wrote Twenty-Five, I just wrote whatever scene happened to be in my head at the time and then went through and tweaked once all the scenes were written to make sure they flowed well together. I love TNBW, but I’m just finding that getting reviews before I’ve finished the story is making me feel like there’s no point to keep writing because it’s so rough, even though I know a first draft should be rough. I don’t want to post anymore until I’m ready to improve the roughness, you know?

        Thank you for your encouragement and support. I appreciate it more than I can say.

        I added your blog to my blogroll, BTW! It looks great! I’ll be doing some more extensive reading of it later this week.

  2. Those pics of your index cards and catagorized colored push pins has me itching to run to Staples :). That’s such a cool idea for keeping those chapter ideas straight, and it looks pretty. 🙂

    1. haha, I’m glad I’m inspiring my lovely writer friends to go out and get organized. I thought it was pretty too, basically the whole reason for the blog post was because I thought the corkboard looked so nice when I was finished!

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