Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Long time no blog

I promise I'm not dead. Though that would be an interesting premise for a novel, wouldn't it? A dead blogger girl?

I've been even crazy busier than ever since coming back from WIFYR. I've been sick (just allergies, I think), dealt with broken bones, sick babies, 4th of July weekend (which was a three-day party this year since it was on Sunday), multiple flute performances (recordings to come soon, I think), etc. Also I've been sewing. I made lots of cute stuff for my house (pictures someday) and for my Etsy store.

Here's what I've been doing with my WIP: the index card tactic.

My original first chapter dropped nothing but a big icy cold bucket o' sad on the reader, so I literally shook things up. I notated each of my scenes (already written and still in my head) on its own index card. Then I threw them on the floor and picked them back up again--not totally randomly, though that would have been fun. Some events still have to happen in a certain sequence to make logical sense.

It's been lots of fun--and educational. Nothing like good old fashioned paper to help a writer visualize.

It was a great way for me to realize which characters have too many scenes and which have too few, and which introductory scenes are necessary and which are not. Plus there's something very reassuring about seeing an outline in front of my face. When I've written novels pants-style, there's always a feeling of dread when I don't know what's coming next--it hurts my brain to know I'll have to make it up. But when it's all (or mostly) in front of me, I know it's already there, just in shorthand. Plus I'll get to use some of what I've already written. Just in a different order.

I've heard about the index-card method before, and I always thought it was too structured for me. But now I don't think it is. I still get to play with my story. And when I write it out on index cards, I can add a few spades and hearts to make my very own game of solitaire.


Cam Ballou said...

Hope it wasn't me that dropped a big old bucket of cold water on your first chapter...except I did, didn't I? Now I feel bad! I'm nobody...don't listen to me :) I really love your writing style and would love to read the rest of your WIP sometime - I love gut wrenching stories. Keep it up!

MT said...

Welcome back. :)
That sounds like an interesting method - a great way to get the creative juice flowing.
Have a great weekend!

Kaylie said...

Cam--you weren't the only one. I think the book will be much better for the changes. So don't feel bad. At least I'm not changing POV characters, right?
MT--try it some time! I'm loving it. There's always something in the novel I can write, but it doesn't have to be in chronological order, so that makes it easy to jump in anywhere.