Counting Down the Plot Cards

I got to work on my revision project for a while, and I wound up putting everything in order, or close to it. That makes the whole thing seem a lot more complete than it has in the past. (Previous Organization: Main Plot and Sub-Plot neatly separated so I can make sure everything’s there. Current Organization: Chronological.) It also makes me feel a whole lot closer to the word-count of doom. You know… that moment when you go over anything remotely resembling marketable, and you have to go back and fix it (again) before you can even think about selling it?

I have color-coded plot cards, and I’m moving into the word count warnings.

When I run out of cards entirely, I’ve hit too big and clumsy.

Right now, I’m envisioning virtually every card I have left going toward the development of the relationship between main characters and why the two planets cannot exist without each other.

Every time I start a new project, I am convinced that I’m going to plot in a neat, orderly way, and not write a whole bunch of material that I don’t really need. I’m convinced that I’m going to make out plot cards as I go along, and stay focused.

And it never seems to happen that way. Part of it is my mind skipping from place to place as I settle into a new story. Part of it is probably just laziness and disorganization. I don’t necessarily have a plot thought through at the beginning, but keeping track would sure be able to cut down on the revision time. And the writing time.

I think writing by hand tends to keep me a little more focused than writing on the computer. Or maybe, I just throw things away in a more expedient fashion when I’m writing by hand. Let’s just rip that out of our notebook and throw it away. It didn’t go anywhere. (And on a computer, I just press save.)

So, right now, I’m playing with a couple of ideas for my next project. One of them involves robots, and the other involves space ships, and long-term space travel. I only have a couple of characters, and maybe a scene or two for each one.

What do you think?


  1. Reply

    I always start with the best of intentions, but stories are messy and you learn about them as you write them. Embrace the chaos! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Wahoo. My Starlight Galaxy project which I have been working on off and on for 3 years and have 3 half finished version is being sorted through by me. I am picking parts I like to include in new outline to write in July camp NaNo.

    Happy Writing. Have not got to color coding yet but gearing up.

    • Reply

      This is super-secret unofficial color coding, of my own devious design. It just keeps me on track for wordcount. Other than that, my green cards are all liars, and my red cards are mostly supposed to be taken care of in this round of organizing/revising. So, I may just stick with this color scheme.
      I’m glad to hear that you’re digging into your revision. It’s so hard to pick which version you stick with!

      • Reply

        Not really a revision, never made to middle ways, so really a new start for a new draft of a different story with ideas and aspects pulled from 3 of the others.

        I like the color code idea. I am going to start trying in Scrivener since I can color code the cork board.

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