Wednesday, January 25, 2006


What a productive day! I got 3,105 words written today on my mystery novel, and I've sketched out 17 more scenes on my improvised storyboard. I'm using a Moleskine notebook and sticky notes, an idea borrowed from my friend Pooks, a screenwriter, which I've adapted for novel writing.

This system is working extremely well for me. Because they're written on sticky notes, I can rearrange scenes within chapters, or put them in different chapters, or change whole chapters around. Then, I can flip through the pages and see what's happening where and when.

Another idea from a book that Pooks uses called Save the Cat, is to put the conflict, indicated by this: >< and the emotional arc of the scene, indicated like this: -/+ This way, you can see the pacing and tension of the story at a glance. If you have too many scenes in a row with minus signs, for example, you'll know that you need to add a scene or two with a plus sign, to ratchet up the emotion.

My NILTOY target for January is 10,000 words. So far I'm at 8,177. The NILTOY weeks end on Saturdays -- they had to pick a day for consistent weekly reporting, so that means to meet my target, I'll need to get to 10,000 words by this Saturday! I think I'll make it...