It’s been a busy week for me, not just in terms of actual keeping the roof over my head work, but the settling down and getting back to basics writing of work.
Over the last few months, when I think about the body of work I have and have yet to complete, it gets a little overwhelming. Not just the unborn and unfinished short stories because they will always come whether I want them to or not, but the novels – all three of them in various stages of incompletedness. When I want to sit down to work on something, I have to think about which one I want to tackle, where I am in it and how far I’d like to take it in that session. I pull up documents, try to find where I last left off, and sigh heavily.
When I sit down, I like to stay seated, but because I lack anything resembling organizational skills, and end up having to run around every ten minutes or so to grab a notebook or a note card or another flash drive because my work is on all of those things.
Last week I set out finding a program I could dump all of those things into and have everything handy regardless of where I am.
*fanfare* *confetti* *hushed awed whispers*
This is doing what taping notebook pages onto my wall can’t do – go with me – because Liquid Story Binder can be installed on the one flashdrive I always have on me. It reads .rtf files so it works beautifully in concert with my Fly.
Best of all, I can see the huge holes in my stories because I’m USING AN OUTLINE.
This may come as a shock to some, but me and outlines are not terribly well-met. We acknowledge that the other has some useful place in society but that’s where it ends. The trees, parent/child items, pokey spokes, etc = all sorts of daunting. Plus I could never write out an outline longhand that didn’t look like my pen had a seizure and crapped all over the paper. This lets me create an fluid outline, notes, upload pictures for reference, and even music. It works for short stories, novels, screenplays, and storyboards. I think it has audio capability too.
It also lets me set goals for word counts, chapters, days I’m going to work on it. This is important. I’d like CDI to be about 75,000 words and I’m about 20,000 in. Yes I should be considerably more in, but not all of my handwritten pages are uploaded and I have a ton of holes I hadn’t seen until now.
I’ve been plugging away at CDI since NaNoWriMo 2005 maybe (04?) and an awful lot of that was research and note taking. The first few chapters came easily and then as the story evolved I lost track of threads, ideas, ending. I hate that.
I get excited now when I find a scrap of paper that belongs in the story, or notes I took or a reference I found because it means I get to fire up my drive and enter it in, give it an association, link it to part of an outline.
You know that little seat dance kids do when they’re excited but can’t run around so they do this bubbly jig in their chair like they’re about to phase through the floor.
I’m doing it now.
So yeah, expect more on the CDI in the coming weeks as chapters get rearranged and I develop a finalize outline. In time I’ll move all of the notes and chapters from Never and The Caretaker over, too. I’m leaving Isle out of it since there is more than me (that doesn’t sound grammatically correct) working on it.