Monday, October 17, 2011

Grueling work!

There's a reason I've been absent from the blogosphere and social networking for a bit. I've been hiding behind my Kindle and as a direct result of that, I've been struggling to fix the broken pieces of my manuscript.
See, I can't, seriously CAN'T, not edit my stories when I read them on a computer or even when I print them out. But when I send it to my Kindle, I find I can just input quick notes on occasion and keep moving forward with the read. Sadly, with this one, I discovered some ill-ordered scenes, missing pieces . . . still, and areas that need a whole lot of tightening yet.
When I finished the read I felt overwhelmed once more. I had such hopes that it was near perfect when I mailed that baby to my Kindle address, only to discover that in my patch-work method of editing, I'd missed a lot. Thankfully, one of my wonderful writing buddies sent me notes on how to save a manuscript. (Thanks, Sandra!)
I'm at the storyboard stage and having fun with brightly coloured (yes, I am Canadian, so that's how I spell it) sticky notes lined up on an accordion of folded paper. I love working with 8 1/2 X 11 sheets of paper that I can tuck inside a clear sleeve within my story duo tang that holds my character sheets, this-and-that notes pertinent to my story creation, pictures, etc.
Some like to post a wall with stickies to create their storyboard. Other's use Excell and keep it all neat and tidy on their computer. Still, others make use of a whiteboard or some other surface of choice. Where you create this storyboard doesn't matter, as long it works for you.
The more I struggle through the grueling work of polishing this novel, the more I realize that I need to infuse some fun into it, and for me that means colourful stickies on a long transportable accordion of papers right now so that I can get this ordering of scenes right and fill in the missing blanks on the move.
What do you do to keep plugging along when nasty reality strikes you? Have you ever created a storyboard? Did it save you time in the long run

Surrendering to Him,



Jessica Nelson said...

Oh my goodness! lol I think making a storyboard would take the fun out of writing for me, but I so know what you mean about missing pieces, tightening, etc. I tend to miss a lot with my stories, even with several rounds of editing. Have fun!!

Jessica R. Patch said...

Okay, your chair looks way too comfy! I can't make notes when I send my ms to kindle. I have to print a hard copy.

When I'm writing a suspense novel, I use a wall size dry erase board and I call it my murder board, b/c I work it just like one. My vic goes in the middle and as I create suspects and witnesses I make the lines.

When writing suspenseful stories ie not big murder to solve, I don't really keep a story board, but half way through I jot a few scene notes to kind of guide me along!

Hope you nail it!

Katie Ganshert said...

I LOVE storyboards! Can you tell I'm a plotter? They made me happy.

Good luck with yours, Eileen!

Sarah Forgrave said...

I'm facing a nasty reality myself, Eileen, and I'm overwhelmed with how to tackle it. :) I may have to try storyboarding the way you described it. I usually keep track of scenes in Excel, but something new might jolt me into the land of inspiration. :)

Oh, and I'd love to know how you get your manuscript on your Kindle. I tried it, and the formatting got all messed up in transit. Any tips?

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Jessica, I'm doing it backwards, writing the storyboard after the novel's been written to help break down my fix-it tasks. Otherwise I'd be right with you on it stumping my creativity. Though after all the rewriting I've done for this one, I'm thinking storyboarding at least on a loose scale is coming first for the next novel.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Jessica R: It's hubby's chair. I get to use it when he isn't home. Usually my Tucker (littel yorkiepoo) is lounging on the pillows when I'm on it--like right now! :)

It's interesting that different methods work for you different stories. It makes sense when I think of it, but I never suspected that before.

Katie: I'm hoping they grow on me and plotting does too!!

Sarah: Good luck with your task, too! As for Kindle, yes, the formatting isn't great. Paragraphs run into each other all the time. But since I'm not editing for formatting (I'm pretty solid in that area, thankfully) I'm okay with it coming through that way. I can get beyond the loooooong paragraphs when I know that's really not how it is. If you can't ignore that, though, then Kindle isn't such a great option.

Terri Tiffany said...

I wish I was more organized to do a story board. No, I just keep reading and editing and hoping I am getting it right. One of these times . ..

Karen Lange said...

I've never used a storyboard. Have heard positive and negative things about them - I should just give it a try once and see for myself! Cheering you on for good progress! :)

Erica Vetsch said...

I have a plotboard full of stickies right now that I'm transferring to a document on my laptop right now. Love the coloured stickies! :D

Loree Huebner said...

I just read another blog on a story board. I've never tried it. I think I'm going to have to set one up.

When I'm overwhelmed, I step away for an hour. It's funny but during that time, I always manage to see something...a route...a direction to take, a way to fix a scene.

Your ms is fixable. Just breathe.

I'm sending you a writer's warm hug in friendship. You will get through this. Your friends are always out here if you need us.

Sandra Orchard said...

Glad to hear you're having a bit of fun with the revisions, Eileen! After a couple of books with accordion-folded paper like you describe, I finally treated myself to a giant bulletin board for my storyboard.

Tamika Eason said...

Okay, I don't love storyboards as much as reading my stories on the Kindle. Panster here:)

Lisa Jordan said...

I love storyboarding. It helps me to see the plot holes in my novels. I can't begin to write until I have a one sentence idea for each scene. Once my physical plotting board is complete, I move it to a Word table complete with H/H columns. Hope you get your manuscript polished the way you want it.

Unknown said...

Sending it to your Kindle is a great idea! I plot out each scene on a huge excel spreadsheet. I think Katie and I need to start an Obsessive Plotters Support Group.

quietspirit said...

Nice Chair. I usually am a pantser. I have outlined stories on legal pad paper and in composition books. And once on a meal break in the days when I worked. I wrote research notes on sticky notes and attached them on the first page of the book. I was looking for ways to do a person in, for a story.:)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Don't give up, Eileen! You'll come up with a way of editing that works for you.

(I should talk - I've tried so many different ones and now just use a combination! Whichever method I like at the time!)

I should try storyboarding more. I did use note cards for one or two of my stories and that helped a lot!