Saturday, July 31, 2010
The Hidden Value of the Sticky Note
When I’m in the midst of a story, I try to keep notes around my computer or on my binder to remind me of the important things I need to keep in mind. Sticky notes are great for this, but a writer friend of mine prefers index cards. It’s your call.
You know you’re weaknesses. When you revise, what are the issues you generally have to work on to make the next draft better?
For example: I tend to get a little too technical when describing what the situation is, or what the danger may be. I want to keep the reader engaged and invested in my main character’s experience. That takes emotion. So I have a bright pink sticky note with “Emotion!” surrounded by hearts on the wall just over my computer.
If you tend to need more dialogue…then remind yourself to write as much as you want, you can always edit later, and to really let your conversations flow. Remember that the first draft gets the story out of your head, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You go back over it multiple times afterwards, so let the story pour out of you. Don’t get in the way.
Remind yourself to second-guess your first idea. I have a blue sticky note that has “2nd Place” because I usually hit upon a better twist, a better plot point if I dig beyond what first pops to mind.
Description, of characters and places, may be your weak point. Make yourself a note to constantly check for that as you write. Whenever you look up, you’ll be prompted to take a second look at what you just wrote.
By doing this as you write, it makes the editing process less overwhelming. You can concentrate on the larger issues like pace and tension. It also adds a bit of layering where you might not have otherwise known you needed it.
What are some tips or tricks that YOU use to make your writing/revisions easier? Until next time...Go Write.
Photograph by lalawren.