I've been thinking about my plot board in the last few days and wondering why I feel the obsessive need to mess around with cards and pins and a cork board. I do have a stationary fixation –I always had to have my felt tips in rainbow-coloured order at school – but it's more than that.
At the beginning of a book, when the ideas are flying round and I have no idea of which ones are going to work and which ones are going to get axed, I find it very handy to pin these "flying" thoughts down before they flutter off into the atmosphere, never to be seen again.
However, once I have passed the halfway point in the book, I hardly ever look at my plot board again. Maybe by then the choices have been narrowed down and that helps me keep the picture of where the book is going in my head. I also think that maybe my plot boarding is more to do but the process than the finished result.
Somehow, the journey of pinning those little cards on the board and organising my thoughts galvanises me to write and helps me make sense of the scraps of ideas that come to me in the middle of the night, while I'm walking to work and especially in the bath. Where do you get your best ideas?