Writing Incentives

I managed to get the first chapter of my book down onto virtual paper yesterday which is a huge step forward after six months of plotting/procrastinating. So far I’m happy with it but I know that will have changed by the end of the week but I will resist the urge to revise it until the first draft is complete.

Anyway, I thought I might show you what I produced whilst plotting as well as the tools I use. Another blogger – nicholeqw1023 gave us a glimpse of her notepad and I thought I might do the same. Now of course, I use a computer to write the actual thing but for plotting it’s a notepad all the way. Writing by hand stops me from deleting ideas I think are rubbish. The likely hood the at some point in the future I’ll stumble across a problem, look back at the idea from a different perspective and realize it’s the solution, is quite high. It saves me from agonizing; plus it’s more satisfying.

So this is my notepad. Having it around just makes me want to write. It’s just the right size that it fits in my bag but has plenty of paper which is great! The pen is my Great Grandad’s fountain pen which had had lots of use – it’s over fifty years old. Sometimes, when an idea pops into my head and I don’t have my notepad with me, I grab whatever is around me and use that: scrap paper, waiter dockets, you can even see an old receipt I used in the background of the photo above, Costa of course.

When I plot things, I need to know more than I will put in and I’m sure a lot of you feel the same. I sketch out maps to track character movements and write down events prior to the actual start of the story. Below is a purposely fuzzy photo (I don’t want to give anything away just yet) of a map and  the history of one character in particular. One character in particular because it helps me get a sense of the sort of person they are.

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Apart from the usual character profiles and story timeline I also do a page on how characters develop in the eyes of the reader from beginning to end. Are there any other interesting exercises you do when plotting? What do you use to plot? I’d love to know.

Cheers

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Author: A Road to Writing

Typewriter obsessed romantic who can think of nothing better than writing, coffee, music, and the odd remedial shot of tequila.

3 thoughts on “Writing Incentives”

  1. Thanks for mentioning me now. 🙂 I love how you plot out how the characters develop in the eyes of the reader. I feel like I need to do more of that as I don’t think my characters grow or change throughout the course of the story. (Which isn’t always a bad thing I guess). I also try not to revise my 1st draft until it’s all the way done. Otherwise I’d never finish. I do however handwrite the first draft and then I type it as I go so I guess I do revise as I go. I figure that by the time I’m done writing I’ll have gone through the story twice and hopefully catch major plot holes.

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  2. You’re welcome. Yeah in this story it’s important that the characters develop because that’s an integral part of my story so I need to make sure that I understand them fully. I suppose if it’s not important to the story then letting the characters develop as the story develops is fine! Wow, the idea of writing a novel by hand is so appealing but I’m not sure if I could manage it.

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  3. I use the sand-tables I learned in the infantry, maps I make via FRACTAL MAPPING PROGRAM and detailed notes to track my progress. I use a hanging file system to organize my various notes and world building stuff and finally, a tape recorder I carry with me to talk out some ideas I get on the fly.

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