Saturday, May 2, 2015
Building a Concept #3: Organizing Your Ideas
So you’ve let inspiration lead you and you’ve brainstormed how you can use those brilliant ideas. But what if you’ve already got half-a-dozen other novels you’re working on or time is working against you? (Oh, that’s just me?) How do you keep snippets of inspiration or couplings of ideas together for a story that you may not get to for a couple months or years?
I think it’s safe to say everyone does this a little differently. I’ve heard of people organizing stories in scrivener or files of documents on each part. Some people add notes on their phone or email themselves or even keep an idea notebook.
I’m a hybrid of several of these methods. For me, I often get inspiration in the form of a character. So while the brainstorming leads me to a decent but underdeveloped plot, I need to hang on to the voice the character gave me from the onset. I create a working title and scribble down a page of notes with pen or pencil, but I also create a word document and “start” the novel in the character’s voice so I can remember that element. (Voice is huge for me, and most of my novels are in first person narrative.)
If you chose to create files to organize inspiration and brainstorming outcomes, I’d highly recommend creating files for each of these: characters, settings, inciting incidents, story problems. Or if you write across the genre board, consider having notebooks or documents for each genre so that when you go to write a particular novel, any and all notes you have that may work for that plot are handy. If you go the "old fashion" route on paper, invest in some sticky labels and divvy up your ideas that way.
Do you use any of the suggestions above to organize your concepts or brainstorming sessions? Or do you do it another way? Please share with me in the comments below. Check back for the most important part of building a concept on June 2nd!
E. G. Moore is a poet, freelance writer, and storyteller (the first of which her mom still has recorded on a cassette tape.) She is a long distance member of For Pete’s Sake Writers Group in Washington, active in an email writer’s response group, and a Rocky Mountain Chapter SCBWI member. When she’s not telling “Mommy Made stories” to her two daughters or nagging her husband to edit her latest manuscript, she can be found off-roading in her suped-up ATV, baking some scrumptious bread, or in a long, plot-refreshing bubble bath. She’s represented by Jessica Schmeidler of Golden Wheat Literary. E.G. Moore tweets, posts on Facebook, and blogs at: www.emilygmoorewriter.blogspot.com
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