Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Monday, August 31, 2009

I've been feeling pretty crappy the past few days, and apprently it's that time of year, because my bud Fal has felt the same way, and she's way up there in Illinois. I'm on the upswing, though, and I hope she is, too.

I love September. The word is nice, the birthstone is sapphire, the weather is cooler, the kids are firmly in school, football starts...There's nothing to dislike about September. Well, we do have FOUR family birthdays in September--mine, my husband's, my son's, and my step-son's--on top of the back-to-school expense, auto insurance is due and Christmas is just around the corner...So yeah, financially it's usually pretty stressful in September. I haven't had a birthday present in years. If I had the money I'd probably have to buy my present myself, anyway.

But still...September is nice. Energizing. Full of possibility.

I think I'm going to try a technique with my novel that I used for the long synopsis. For the synopsis, I wrote and typed everything out, then I cut apart the scenes and rearranged them into the best order. It's one of those things I've tried before according to someone else's instructions with no success, but once I threw out my internal rule book and played it by ear, it worked out well. With the novel I've tried notecards, but writing a hundred notecards and deciding which information is important enough to go on each notecard was just too unwieldy, so I decided I wasn't an organizer after all. But again, I had fallen into the trap lots of writers fall into--the "should" trap, the "rules" trap, the "everybody knows better than I do" trap.

So I'm going to make up this technique as I go along. I'll print out the whole book--backstory, current scenes, deleted scenes--and staple together the pages of each scene, cutting the page with scissors if necessary to separate them. After that...I don't know. We'll see. I hesitate to tell you exactly what I do, because I don't want to perpetuate that "rules" mentality. Art doesn't follow rules.

{ 8 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Sounds interesting. Let me know how it goes. I've heard this technique is used by lots of writers -- or some variant of it -- but I don't know how to even begin.

    Lots of software for writers has something like this built in, but I can't get myself to take the plunge. And I have a freebie called Text Block Writer which allows me to ONLY make those little notecards in e-form, and shuffle them around like you're describing, but I've never used it, either.

    If it works well for you I might try it too. Heck, I'm desperate enough to try most anything to get myself writing again ... even though editing would be smarter at this point.

  2. I tried text block writer, too. I think my problem with the notecards in general, analog and digital, is that I can't feel the same way about the scenes when they are stripped down to notecard size. Since I don't feel the same way about them, how do I know where they need to go? Obviously I do better work when I feel my way, rather than think it through. It's such a relief to realize that about myself, as I've always devalued my emotional side.

  3. I used to use the chop and rearrange method back before word processors. I found it very helpful to organize college papers. Haven't tried it for long works, but it's a tried and true method.

  4. Oh, I do hate writing a synopsis. Of course, right now I'd just be happy to turn my novel into a screenplay. Good luck with your writing--however you get there!

  5. I'm glad you're on the upswing! I think I may be getting there but it's too soon to tell right now.

    September is awesome, isn't it? You beat me to the punch - I've been planning on posting about it for tomorrow, lol.

    Yep, ignore the "rules." Just tell the story and I'm pretty confident it'll be just fine. :) I think you could write literary fiction and that you could write it in such a way that I would love it. Just you telling a story about people, in your Sherri voice - that would be teh awesomest!

  6. Thanks, Marta. I hope your screenplay is going well. Did you buy any software for that? There's a program called Roughdraft you can get for free, if you're still looking, though I'm sure there are others.

  7. I think your husband and I have the same problem ignoring the "rules", Fal. ;) Thank you for the vote of confidence.

    Sorry I stole your post. Don't let that stop you.

    The upswing is a long, slow journey, apparently.

  8. Yeah, another is called Celtx. Google that, download and install. It's awesome for screenwriting, designed only for the purpose of doing those and similar. Very fun, and free.


Popular Posts

- Copyright © Sherri Cornelius -Metrominimalist- Powered by Blogger - Designed by Johanes Djogan -