Monday, August 16, 2010

Final Input

Well, okay. After taking a long weekend for a High School reunion I was badgered into attending (despite which I had an absolutely fabulous time, so thanks Becca and Liz, for insisting I go), this morning it was back to the writing. A very special morning, too, as I input my final pile of notes for the last part of the book. Which requires, I guess, an explanation of the way I work.

When I get an initial idea for a book, I find myself jotting down little thoughts--ideas for character, bits of dialogue, etc., and then I throw them in a file folder. When there are too many for the folder, they get tossed into a basket. As I start the book, the ideas come faster and faster, thus more and more bits of paper. One basket becomes two, then three. When I have a sense of where things are heading, I loosely organize the notes: one basket for the beginning of the book, one for the middle and one for the part I call "headin' for the barn." Further down the line, I divide them up even further, clipping groups of notes for sections within the baskets, then sections within sections. All of this lives on the floor under a long work table in my writing room, and as things heat up the piles begin snaking out from under the table and around the perimeter of the room. Gets messy. Pretty basic, I know, but it works for me.

So anyway, the big deal about this morning? All the little notes I've been collecting for over two years now are finally gone--absorbed into the ms in one form or another. Now the real work begins: honing character (expanding some roles, maybe deleting one or more altogether), tweaking plot, etc.


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