Writing Advice Tuesday–Messy Desk, Clean Story

Despite my best efforts, I have never been an organized person, not in my home not with my writing. To me, if I can’t see it in front of me, it doesn’t exist anymore. While I have friends who build whole notebooks or computer files filled with details about their story and characters, I can’t work that way. The information either has to be in front of me or in my head. The thing that has worked the best for me to keep the details of the story organized is Post It notes plastered all over my desk. As I write rough draft, I put up Post It notes about things that I know I have to go back and change. On the next draft I take down the Post It as I make the changes. When the Post Its are all gone, I have dealt with the things I knew would be a problem. I also put up notes about character descriptions that I need to remember both physical description and biographical details. The final thing I use the notes for is words that keep coming up in the novel that I seem to spell wrong over and over. For some reason, compound words mess me up. Also, made up place names need to be recorded or I will spell them different every time.

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t managed to build a whole notebook filled with story details. I have never done it that way.┬áTo me spending time cutting out pictures of my characters feels like a time waster. I know other writers thrive on that kind of prewriting exercise, so it’s all just about finding what works best for you and not feeling pressure to do things a certain way because another writer does.
happy writing

sharon dunn writing

Me at my "messy" desk, notice fav writing tool in background

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One Response to Writing Advice Tuesday–Messy Desk, Clean Story

  1. Just wanted to thank you for receiving your new book-Top Secret Identity from Goodreads. I had just finished Broken Trust before I found out I had won your book. I read Love Inspired Suspense all the time so I was so excited to win one. I have joined Avid Readers of Christian fiction and told everyone. They were happy for me. I read through your biography and found out your husband has cancer. I will put him and your family on my prayer list. I know I will definitely enjoy this book.

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