Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Post-It Outline for New Wip & Rejections

This could be called "notecarding" but I am using post-its, because I can stick them in a notebook or a sheet of paper. Just a matter of convinience, and I have pretty colourful post-its. Anyway, to the point... I did a partial post-it outline for a science fiction WIP but never got around to finishing it, so I have started the process for my new Bristol Fantasy WIP. My brainstorm doodles usually end up all over the place, which is why I usually outline on the computer since it's easier to get things together. Or if I write things down, I transfer them consistently. So why post-its? Because while my last WIP outline was very helpful, I realised that I wanted more details. For this outline, I want to try to make sure all subplots are included, all important scenes are included, and in a consistent manner. This is also slightly tricky one because this story will be from first person POV, so while my brainstorm tells me somethings are going to happen - those things happen away from the MC's sight, so when including them in my outline, I need to incorporate them differently. So the post-its are ideally going to be scene by scene. One post-it will include details of one scene. Everything just as it would happen in the book from MC's POV. None of the background information, or how things might occur elsewhere. I intend this to be a straightforward outline which could give me the gist of the story at a glance, so I will know whether I have got everything or at least most things covered or not. Because I know that brain doesn't always cooperate with answers when you ask questions, I have got two colours. All the main scene points will be written on green post-it pads. Then any other ideas that might come to me for those particular scenes will go on orange-pad, so I can then decide what to include and how to arrange everything. So orange will be like a sub-outline for the main green outline. It is quite exciting brainstorming this novel - well it's always exciting brainstorming novels, but this one is just so much fun. I am really having to restraint myself from starting the first draft. But I won't do it. I am determined to have a satisfactory outline before starting the first draft. But hopefully, it won't be too long. AND for some bad news... Two flash fiction rejections in one day. Seriously, I submitted weeks ago and both magazines decided to send their emails on the same day. I am not that surprised because as you are all aware I am not a fan of short stories. But since I did make an effort to write several short stories and flash fiction for my WB course, I figured I should at least make decent effort to submit it to various places. Still, it's depressing to receive those rejections. :(


  1. Ooh, cool idea, LW. :-)

    I tend to use a stream of consciousness for my planning these days. I just type whatever occurs, whether it be ideas, questions or admonishments for silly ideas. I then move the good stuff to a seperate file and turn it into an outline over time. :)

    Sorry about the rejections. Get 'em sent to the next peeps on the list. ;)


  2. *hugs* I'm sorry about the rejections, but your post-it outline sounds like a great idea! :)

  3. Adam,

    I find the brainstorming requires at least some doodling, so I can't do it all on the computer.

    Yes, planned to do some submissions this weekend. Must admit, I am going from high market to low market, as oppose to starting low. But worth a shot.

    Thank you! Hugs appreciated. yes post-it outline is working out cool. And the colourful prettiness is most pleasing - yes I am a stationary freak.

  4. Sorry about the rejections. But hey, you have a start to your collection now! ;-)

    I love post-its. Love them. Have them all over my desk at work. LOL If I had more room to work (ie, if I wasn't so lazy and got out of my armchair), I'd probably use post-its instead of notecards. Will you post a photo when you're done, so we can see your outlining method at work? Pretty please? :-)

  5. Boo, rejections! Next time...

    I use index cards for scenes. Sometimes I like to shuffle them and see how fate wants me to tell the story.
    I know, weird, but I've read a ton of fiction that breaks boundaries and I'm not very good at it so I try and devise a different order for my stories.

    VW: grusly- something gruesome and grisly.

  6. Bummer on the Rejection front - eh they don't know what they're missing.

    LOVE post-it's that's all I use at work! I never thought of using them for brainstorming, but that's a great idea ;o)

    Great post!

  7. Jamie,

    I am using post-its because I am lazy to use index cards. I figured to see index cards in an order when putting them into a structure, I would have to do that on the floor - hence get off the comfy sofa :P

    But post-its I can stick on any odd paper of folder, and look at it like that.

    And yes, I shall definitely post a picture of my outline method at work.

  8. Palindrome,

    LOL that does sound bit dodgy to leave order of the story to fate. I look forward to reading more about your plotting.

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  10. I rather not use the "R" word (not to avoid reality or to address the matter head-on) only think that the submission was not to the recipients list or for their desired audience. All part of the process to make you stronger and ever more self-evaluating. Your obvious determination will bring you dividends and be worthwhile in the end. Persist and keep positive! You have achieved so much with your writing and have many friends supporting you. You are an inspiration to us all...

    Post-its - great idea. There are so many colours and designs these days, which I can see would assist organisation of information.

    I tend to type up from life experiences or observations. Alongside, I write in a notebook that I keep to hand. I have similar to a mind-map and make some order of my writing by using that as my base. Images/photos I also include to fill in any gaps, as an enhancement or to prompt further development.

  11. Erica,

    Awww....thanks :-) That's so sweet. I love post-its too. I use them for everything. Now I have got an excuse to buy some more colourful ones.

  12. Ulanda,

    Thank you. :-) That's very kind of you.

    Recording in notebook is great. I keep a writer's journal too. But of course when you are finally writing a proper draft of a book, plans have to be more substantial. My journal includes insane amount of writing - all of that wouldn't really be suitable for the story, and it's not all neatly planned out in a journal. So this outline is more of an exact map to write the book.

  13. Aw, sorry about the rejections. :-(

    I love post-its! They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colours. And I just happen to have a huge supply of them. I've used them for revisions before, but never thought of trying to outline with them. Great idea!

  14. Thanks Carol :-)

    Yeah I am post-it crazy too!