Thursday, 22 March 2012

New tricks for an old dog

Keeping all the threads of a story in your head in the proper place when you're trying to revise and edit can be tricky - a bit like juggling a dozen balls at once. I often find I miss things if I don't do something to cement it into my head, especially in the rewriting process.

So today I decided to do something new. I've been digging deeper into my characters and pulling out their internal motivation, but I'm now on my TENTH draft of this book, and I keep forgetting what I've put in, what I've taken out, and what still has to go in that hasn't made it onto the page yet. Confused? I am.

Anyway, to help myself remember where I've been going with my new, improved conflict, I've reosrted to using the highlighting tool in Word. (Don't you wish they did less eye-popping colours? OneNote has some lovely pastel ones that don't sear my retina quite so badly, but I digress...)

So I started highlighting the key bits:
PINK for my heroine's backstory/internal conflict
BLUE for my hero's backstory/internal conflict
YELLOW for the romantic conflict
GREEN for the moments my hero and heroine connect

Wonderful! Current details now cemented in, old ones forgotten!

Of course, I then went a step further and roped in my trust old plotboard. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.) I used my highlightings to make notes on identically-coloured mini post-its attached to each scene card, just so I could remember everything at a glance if I needed to. Yes, I really am that sad.

But as much as this has taken about an hour away from my writing, I know its going to help me as I revise the end of my book. I have a feeling quite a few scenes will need to be rewritten entirely, so knowing where I've been and where I'm going with it all is rather important. Without this process I'd have been lost in the woods again without a torch.

So, what do you do to cement the story in your head? And are you as sad as I am? Please say yes!

1 comment:

Sophie Pembroke said...

I am every bit as sad, and possibly more so... I tend to write in Scriviner, so can use the notecard and colour coding system in there. And then, of course, there's the accompanying notebooks, index cards, post its... and the collage board to remember what the whole of the plot, theme and structure looks like. It's amazing I have any time left to write...