For me, this type of organization has to happen in longhand first. I don't know why this is, but if I try to do it on my computer, it just doesn't stick. Here's what I needed to do to get my head straight (and this is why today's post is so late!):
- Write down all character names. Since I was pantsing I was making up names on the fly and characters were coming to life right beneath my typing fingers. While I am at the point where I know them all pretty well by their first names, I completely forgot the last names of some of their last names. In my list I included some quick notes on personalities and appearance.
- Make character connections. Who's dating who? Which characters are related? Keeping this information handy is helpful as I move forward.
- Sketch timeline. I remember having this issue in my first novel. Even with a plot plan, I got down to writing and starting thinking, "How much time has passed in this scene?" In my current WIP time is even more important since a major blackout makes sundown a major factor.
- List locations. This is necessary for world building. While I remembered all of the locations, I wanted to list them and their identifying characteristics. Are these places distinct? Do they have their own personalities? Having the list in front of me keeps that in my mind.
- What's Next? While this is a bit like plotting, I am deep enough into my story that some ideas about where I want to go are coming to the forefront. Unfortunately, since I am doing this A to Z Challenge, doing some mega at home spring cleaning and trying to write this novel all at once, if I don't write these ideas down they may be gone for good. I am not 100% committed to them, but I don't want to lose them either.
How do you organize your writing?
Are you a plotter or a pants-er?
Thanks for reading!
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