A Method to My Madness
I was tweeting with another author on Wednesday about how interesting we found other author’s processes. On the off chance you are as nosy--erm, I mean CURIOUS--as we are, I'm going to share my method today.
(for many reasons...)
HERE'S WHAT WORKS FOR ME:
Since I always have a few book ideas knocking around in my head, I find it's helpful to have a folder for each book. This way, if I’ve got a timeline, an email to myself, or a random photo I can stick it into the folder and forget about it. (I start them before I even have a title in most cases. This one is for THE MILLIONAIRE AFFAIR, book 3 in my current series.)
I find this method especially helpful for characters of future books who are talking to me now. Side note...
Since I don’t want to lose the inspiration just because I can’t write their book right now (or for a year :cry: ), I jot down whatever ideas I have and throw them into the folder. I find it helpful to list who is going to beta read for me and who to include in the acknowledgements, too. I'm so forgetful about those kinds of things!
I have a spiral notebook for each book as well. Yes, they are usually incredibly juvenile, like this one of various animals filling their shopping carts with dinner. (The owl has a cart full of mice. *snicker*) I used to have one notebook for all my writing ideas, but I've found it's easier to have one dedicated notebook per book. And since I LOVE to buy blank journals, this works out great for me.
JESSICA’S RULES FOR JOURNAL BUYING
- Spiral bound: I can’t hang with the kind that I can’t fold in half and I have to hold open while I write.
- Lined pages: I love to draw. Give me an unlined page and I’ll doodle, not write.
- Perforated pages: not a requirement, but the neat-freak in me (yes, there is one) loves that I can cleanly tear out a sheet if I’ve jotted down a note that is for a different book. Then I put it in that other book's folder. See how this works? ;-)
NEW! The 3-ring binder!
This is a new habit for me. While drafting THE MILLIONAIRE AFFAIR, I tried on lots of ideas for size and not all of them panned out. The result is characters who change their motivations throughout the draft. Basically, I was really confused. BUT. After starting and restarting, I forced myself to plod to THE END (albeit 15,000 words short). For the edit, I stepped away for a week (okay, three days), then I returned with the pages printed and bound. Here's what I did with them:
- Inserted Post-Its to mark changes I wanted to make in certain chapters. Sometimes it was character's feelings, sentences to add...in one scene I opted to change the POV from Kimber's to Landon to deepen the emotion of the scene. 8-O Edits are rough, yo.
- Flagged chapters I loved so I knew they were keepers. To my delight, there were a few. :mrgreen:
- At the end of each editing session, I stuck a Post-It note in the binder to mark where I left off. I also leave a note to remind myself where to pick up the next day. i.e., “Gloria suggests Kimber has a fling”
So there it is! The notebooks and folders are musts, but I have to say, I may employ the binder in the future as well. It’s been really helpful for this book.
What about you? Is there a method to your madness? Feel free to comment below, or even better, write a blog about it. But be sure you alert me when you post it! I want to see how you handle characters, plot, and organize your thoughts! Tweet me: @lemmony or email me: jessica [at] jessicalemmon [dot] com.