Friday, June 19, 2015

Organizing: How to Handle, Sort, File, and Save All the Bits and Pieces of a Book

Once you begin a book, you begin to live in overwhelm.  I'm talking about the sheer volume of documents--whether printed pages or virtual files--that a book generates as it grows and gets revised.

I think longingly of the past.  My short stories, essays, columns, poems were easily gathered in file folders.  Even multiple revisions or printed pages from feedback could be compiled into easy revision lists.  I spent a year working on new stories and all 45 of them (still in process) are in one woven shelf basket in my writing room.

A book is another animal altogether.

How do you handle, sort, file, and save all the necessary bits and pieces of a book, including your ideas, your research, your images, and your drafts?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Long Time and Short Time in Fiction and Memoir

A big challenge for most new book writers is figuring out time.  Not the time to write, but the time as it's portrayed in their book.  How much time passes in your story?  Do you move back and forth in time?  Do you start far into the story then flash back to the beginning?

Working with a storyboard (see the article below) helps you immediately see your time choices.  If you are moving in linear time, or straight chronology, through your story, each event will happen in sequence.  Today will be followed by tonight which will precede tomorrow.  This is the easiest timeline to work with. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Micro-Revision--Working from Small Issues to Bigger Issues to Solve Your Book's Problems

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to study with a well-known novelist online.  She offered a workshopping class that focused on micro-revision. 

As an editor, I knew about micro-revision, but it had always come last in my editing process.  Solve the big issues first, I was trained.  Deal with the structure problems, then the language fine-tuning will come naturally.

This writer used a different method, and since I'm always interested in learning new methods, I was intrigued.  I gave her eight weeks of my writing life and awakened my creative brain to micro-revision.