(If you never reach the end please email me privately and we will discuss an intervention.)
You've polished and edited and after 23 sets of revisions are ready to close the book.
Here's my process for putting my baby to bed and starting a new project.
First I collect the following from where ever they are hiding on my pc and stick them in the same folder:
1. time line spread sheets
2. notes-to include deleted scenes
3. synopsis short and long
4. the complete manuscript
5. research links
6. photos of characters and scenes
Then I save everything on
2. hard drive
3. flash drive
4. external hard drive
5. Mail it to myself
On a real world level, I sort and organize all papers and photos and charts and put them into a three ring binder. All my WIPs are in similar binders. I learned the binder trick from Superromance author Rogenna Brewer.
Next is the most traumatic part of the entire process.
I clean my office.
Many of you have read my post that discusses my office issues. The point is we may never agree on levels of organization and clean. The above photo is my office...neat and tidy (in your world you may suspect a tornado has hit Denver and my neighborhood specifically). But, before I start a new writing venture, I bring my office back to the level of neat that works for me.
I am now ready to start my next WIP!!
I love office supplies. My favorites include: yellow legal pads, Foray highlighters, mechanical pencils, gel pens, multi-colored stickies, binder clips and neon paper clips.
A trip to either Staples or Office Depot or if I am flush...Target, is the next step.
1. A binder is chosen for the next project and the working title of the manuscript goes into the clear cover.
Next I begin printing out the various forms I use as story preparation.
2. An Excell spreadsheet for scenes. On the spread sheet I color each scene with pink or blue to show the hero and heroine's POV. I also use symbols to indicate eating scenes and romance scenes. I happen to be heavy on eating and too light on romance. I know, this shocks me too, but apparently it comes as no surprise to my husband.
The grid helps me keep track of the story time line as well as page count and POV.
3. Years ago I bought Caroline Green's Plot Doctor's Prescription for Plotting notebook.It includes every chart you could ever think of and I print a new copy for each new manuscript.
The Prescription for Plotting workbook includes worksheets which help with:
- Capturing the idea when it's still just a tiny spark.
- Characterization (none of those "what's his favorite ice cream" questions)
- Conflict, motivation, and goals
- Figuring out what should happen in the story, and when
- Writing the synopsis
- Making sure your scenes don't snooze
- Keeping track of your story's timeline
- Ending your story with a satisfying conclusion and character growth
- Keeping track of your daily writing productivity
- Making sure all your characters' names don't sound the same
- Tracking your submissions
- Coming up with alternative title possibilities
- Remembering people you may want to acknowledge in your dedication
- Taking advantage of publicity opportunities when your book is published
- And writing tools no writer should be without.
4. I pull out my copy of The Hero's Two Journeys by Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler and I create a chart for the new story after watching the DVDs again and getting my head into the new story.
The process includes:
Stage 1 Set Up
Turning Point #1 Opportunity
Stage 2 New Situation
Turning Point #2 Change of Plans
Stage 3 Progress
Turning Point #3 Point of No Return
Stage 4 Complications and Higher Stakes
Turning Point #4 Major Setback
Stage 5 Final Push
Turning Point #5 Climax
Stage 6 Aftermath
4. I prepare the Plotting Board for a quick visual help with the scenes. I use only pink and blue on mine. I use the board to easily move my scenes around. Then when I am satisfied I type it into the Excel spreadsheet.
4. I also keep Debra Dixon's GMC (Goal, Motivation and Conflict) on hand to begin plotting. I'm a pantser but even a pantser has to have some structure. Besides, no matter what I do I will always be a plotless wonder.
5. I also refer to several Seeker posts that assist me in the process.
Myra's WIP Management Tips
Conflict In Every Line
Some Deep POV Tips
Strong Emotional Reactions Part One and Part Two
Also Seeker guest Vince, did an excellent post that I use often: What Mega-Selling Authors Know That You Could Use To Boost Your Sales.
That's my process..what's yours?
Today I will draw the name of two Seekerville posting guests for a package of office supplies. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.
Now back to cleaning my office.