Blog,  Useful Tips,  Writing Progress

The Writing on the Wall

It’s the third week of the New Year, and I’ve already got a new plotting strategy. My brain felt fried after spending so long writing the first draft, and I was worried that I’d have to really push myself to write and edit. But after a chat with a fellow writer friend, I had a huge a-ha moment when she suggested a method that would really help me visualize the rapidly expanding plot of my novel.

Sticky notes.

Okay, I know I’ve been tracking this all over my Facebook page, but this is the first time I’ve tried this approach and, frankly, it’s very empowering! Plus, I really get to view the SIZE of the life-eating monstrosity that’s been seeping out of my brain for years of my life. Usually I’m able to keep my plot in my head, but reworking it so many times, my poor little brain can’t store new and old versions at the same time without burning out!

When it’s your opus, you don’t always realize just how complex it is, but when you see it in big picture form, it’s like watching Athena being born from the head of Zeus! Except that I’m no Greek god; just an enthused scribbler with a bunch of sticky notes ^_^ And it isn’t a particularly original idea: many fellow writers utilize the sticky note layout method. Part of its charm is that it allows room for expansion, and it’s really easy to move stuff around when seeing what goes better where.

So, I wrote a different scene onto each little sticky note strip, and aligned them chronological order, sorted by chapter. Since I have a lot of pieces I’m still reworking, I didn’t organize the second half so I have more freedom. I plan to start sorting that out this week, and start compiling Part 2 (I only charted Part 1, which is already written)!

Wish me luck!


  • Jeremiah

    I would try the sticky note idea, but I'm not sure if the walls in my room are an ideal surface. They're not smooth, like your photo. They have a rough texture. I have a similar sticky note idea going on with the dashboard on my mac, but I really think having the physical notes to move around would be better. Right now, my electronic notes are good for holding onto ideas and names that stick out to me.

  • Christina A. Nelson

    Hey, yeah, whatever works. I still have notes all over the place from before I instated the sticky note wall ^_^