By Maggie Thom
I’m one of those writers that when an idea, hits I start writing notes and then if a scene comes to me, I will start writing it. I don’t stop to wonder if it is the right scene for this story or even where it fits. I just write. After I have either run out of time or run out of ideas, I will leave it for a day or so just so that I can let the ideas come to me and to start organizing the events and where the story is going.
When I wrote Captured Lies, which by the way I wrote actually several years ago, I hand wrote a big portion of it. The reason for that was because I was that mom who’d take her kids to their sport/event practice and then sit down and write while they were busy. As I wrote I’d keep a side pad of notes to keep track of my characters or scenes or plot ideas. I eventually typed up the manuscript, which made it so much easier to make changes to, to edit, to add in or delete information. And it made my hand-scrawled side notes much easier to follow.
I’m one of these writers who has learned to write on the computer, so no more handwriting and then having to type it up – wasting hours – but I still love to use pen and paper to help me keep track of my story. I find that keeping notes on paper just helps me to keep things organized and I think that I’m always a little leery that my computer will eat my notes and I won’t have a clue where I was going with the story. 🙂
I love to make mind maps – that’s the technical term for them – but really if you saw some of my drawings you’d question if they really looked like much of anything. But to me they were gold in keeping track of relationships, events, what happened when and keeping the timeframe straight. I like to think of myself as one of those organized-disorganized writers. I tend to have stuff everywhere when I’m writing but make it all neat and tidy when I’m done.
When I’m finished writing a story I then go through it to make sure that the timelines, the events, etc. line up and make sense. Then I send it out to my beta readers to make sure I haven’t missed anything. They are gold and definitely help me to make sure I’ve kept my story on track.