The thoughts in my mind stretch in many directions, at all times. With my creative mind this isn’t a surprising trait, and I know how to take it on. But sometimes I react in a slightly more negative way when my thoughts go too far. One minute I’m scheming up the plot for my new novel. Another minute I’m daydreaming about where I’ll be living next year. Then I’m thinking about the dreaded Christmas season! I’m no longer a retail worker, but the chaos we’ve created through the holiday is a bit obnoxious, right? See! Right there! Scattered. I’m writing this post to share how it’s okay for an author to have scattered thoughts, but I can’t even stay on topic!
There have been an endless number of times when I have started writing something with full intentions to reach the end. When I get to the end of the story I can’t be as excited as most would assume. Mainly, because I know the next step is to read back through everything I typed or wrote up. I need to do this because sometimes my scattered thoughts interfere with my writings. Let’s say I’m writing about a family of mermaids and the tale is going along beautifully. I’m happy and then have the thought about them owning a pet dolphin. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I think about it and then I add in Dolly their dolphin pet. The story continues on and then I reach the end. Time to read back through! Although, when I read over my story I am shocked to notice Dolly randomly appeared midway through without a proper introduction or reason for his appearance. Because I rushed through the story I didn’t take the time to have Dolly’s showing make sense.
I am not a person to write out outlines with my novels, and that’s okay because it’s worked well for me so far. The only problem with writing with an open mind is the risk of forgetting to mention moments or adding in moments which make no sense. My task is to avoid allowing my scattered thoughts to ruin my novels. In order to do this, I do a lot of different tasks as I’m writing.
- I read through each chapter to make sure everything that happens is what I wanted to happen in the chapter. I need to make sure it makes sense where it happens in the story. Sometimes I may even read the previous chapter into the next chapter so I know the transition between the chunks makes sense.
- If the story has a lot of details I may build an event sheet or write up a character chart so I have little facts available. This provides a backup plan so I don’t change things unknowingly or add bits that are too goofy for the character.
- Building a location chart for different events is also a good idea. (I haven’t done this with my other books because the setting was in one, small town. But it may be a task I use for my next book). Then if a character needs to discuss the moment I have the details about the location where the moment took place. Or if they go back I won’t add in funny details that confuse my readers.
These are only three features I use to make it easier as I write. This was something I thought about yesterday as I was doing my best to scheme up how to get on with my latest novel plan. It’s taking longer than I like to get the tale flowing, but with more plans being figured out I think I’m on the right track!
How do you keep your thoughts organized? Let me know!