Now, once you've filled out your index cards or the chapter plotter, you're feeling frisky. You're feeling ready to write. At this point, I normally have 2 chapters written and feeling the urge to delve into the storyline-- anywhere.
But I promised you a bit more IF you're of the persuasion to set yourself up to be able to glance at the cards a bit. This is something taught to me by Cherry Adair and Angela Knight. (If you can take either of these fantastic ladies' workshops-- DO SO! The small price is WORTH the information you learn and will use time and again!)
Now, because of my time constraints, I normally find that I don't get to easily write linearly anymore. Trust me, it's something I used to find a deal breaker. I HATED not being able to sit down and pick up where I left off and write.
But once I started this system, I realized-- I could use the D&D system of RPGing to further my writing around. And thanks to Angela Knight- I found a program that allowed me to put all my notes into how I needed them. You're going to need some highlighter pens and some more paper or your index cards.
If you have the money-- take a chance on Mindola's Supernotecard program. Why? Because it allows the index person and those who make notes the same ability and to keep it all on the computer- easy and ready to print out at the drop of a hat if need be.
But if you can't-- then we're going to take some time to go through our main cards-- and make further notes. If there is sex going to happen-- I make a red dot in the right corner. If there is a laying of mystery-- a red herring-- or even a mention of an item that will be of importance later-- I mark it in green. I also make note of it on that third column in the plotter. It helps me to remember what I have to hint at.
If we're going to have a fight scene or some kind of action- it gets orange. If it's an internal moment or a flashback- it gets yellow. If there's a calm moment before the storm-- then I note that in blue.
Why the colours? To see if I have too many of one thing and not enough of the other. If you ever take my Senses workshop, you know how important it is to use senses in every scene and not just sight and touch! The same is important to what we're doing now. If we hint at something once, we need to know when it will become important and we need to note it 2 other times to be noticed though perhaps not understood by the reader at strategic points that could go one way or another. Same with physical or introspection. You don't want too much of each, but just enough to balance out the story.
So how does RPG come into all this? Grab those extra index cards. We're going to play Pre-Write. Take your chapter one. Look at what you plan on happening there. Let your mind start to write-- but ONLY enough to give you an opening. Then stop. Then on the next card- write how you want the chapter to end-- with a hook. Think of it as you running a module. You want to drop the character players in and at the end of one scene, you want to make it so they NEED to go forward to what happens next.
Now, that said, these small paragraphs may or may NOT be what you use exactly in your writing. The idea here is to give you an idea of what your starting and finishing goal is. How your characters get there-- is their journey and yours to free write.
So, go chapter by chapter and finish the beginning and ending hooks-- giving yourself enough to work with. If there's something in the middle that has to be started-- write a card. When you've done all the chapters.. you've done something that will free you up to write in the smallest time possible.
What's that? Oh yeah-- you can pick ANY of those cards at ANY time-- and write. Free write to that point or from that point. You have your master plotter and now you have scene paragraphs to help guide your starting and your ending of each chapter. So how you get there is up to you. Don't worry about what order you write. Just label the chapter and scene. Ch1Sc1_title_yourintials. That way you're keeping it separate. Then once you've got those done. You can go in and start writing the flow from one chapter to another, linking the opening and the endings... and creating a flow of power and writing like none other!
How does that make YOU feel?