Sunday, September 21, 2008

Turning Your Writing into Art --Part Two


The last time I posted, I was chopping up my manuscript. And let me tell you, it was a mess.  I had recommended that method of revision based on the advice of a Linear Thinker. I discovered, however, that "The Chop" works best for them because they are straight laced, orderly types who need to learn how to make a mess every once in a while. But for ADD thinkers like myself, this method creates A Double Disaster. We need to streamline, baby! So, today I shall explain my new method. It is called "The Cards."

The Cards was introduced to me by another screenwriter, who has actually sold more than one screenplay, so she can be trusted. For this method, you will need some index cards, a beer, some twinkling lights and a wall. (Seriously - those were the instructions) First you write out the scenes in a few key words on the index cards. Most screenwriting software will do this for you. But if you are working on a novel like myself, you have to write something small like, "Emerson's first kiss." (Em is my MC) This method is great for messy writers because it is nice and neat and organized and cuts through the chaos.

Next, you give your main characters a color and if the scene emphasizes something major for that character, you write it in their color. So my card might have that phrase about Emerson in red. Then you turn on your sparkly lights to set the mood, crack open a beer and post those babies all over a wall. Stand back and look at them, and then get in there and physically rearrange the cards. In particular - if you see too many red scenes in a row, you can add a blue or green character's scene to break it up and add interest to the story. After a semi-trial run, I am giving The Cards a thumbs up.

Finally, I was reminded this week of something that I struggle with.  ~That we need to remember in writing, as well as in life, that the magic and the beauty is simply found in the process, and not the end result.  So whether you are brainstorming, or writing, or revising, you are exactly where you are meant to be.  Enjoy where you are, and don't think so much about where you want to go.

Katie

P.S. Some of my closer friends are no doubt thinking, "Is she already finished, and now revising?" Those peeps would be Linear Thinkers. Just like I write back to front, and all in between, an occasional full edit sneaks in too-- even though the whole manuscript is far from done. Just a Katieism I suppose...

11 comments:

Sara said...

You know that the Mac program Scrivner does the colored cards for you, right? It doesn't come with beer or twinkly lights, however...

Hardygirl said...

Sara, you're the second person who has made Srivner sound intriguing . . . I may have to look into it.

Katie, I love hearing about all of this methodology-- the "process". If you don't truly enjoy the whole crazy brain exercise involved in the craft of writing, then you are in the wrong field.

I mean, I hope to be published someday . . . but I'm not expending all of this creative energy for the sole purpose of grabbing the brass ring. Or making millions (ha! almost any writer will debunk that myth with some good stats).

SF

Katie said...

Yeah - Sara, have you ever used it? I asked the Mac Genius about it, but he said it wasn't a Mac program - they just have Pages...

SF, well said. I DO tend to get hung up on the big sale sometimes. But I know that I'd still write, even if I never sold - so hopefully I'm in the right profession :-)

Hardygirl said...

Okay, for a free thirty day trial of Scrivener, go to this site

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html

It looks WAY cool!

Jeannie said...

First of all, the advice you gave about enjoying the process and not worrying about the end result is exactly the advice that Anne Lamott gives in Bird by Bird, so you must be right-on there! Also, you creative little bugger-I loved the part about A Double Disaster, another plug for you ingenious, yet delicously devilish and dervish types, making all that you write so interesting to read! You gave away so many secrets in that post, however!!

Christy Raedeke said...

Would it be superficial of me to admit that half the fun of coming to your blog is seeing photos of you in your cute clothes and lovely home? I'm digging the color on your kitchen walls...

Katie said...

Aawww thanks Christy!!!! You are too cute! I LOVE that color - it's a Benjamin Moore color - I think it is one of their historical colors. Wyeth blue :-) (I am a like you - a decorating nut!)

SF - thanks for the Scrivener link. I am DESPERATE for a new computer and new software!!!

Jeannie - you are too, too kind - as always! I will be sure to dedicate a book to you one day :-) hee hee. And if not, I will perhaps dedicate a blog post to you...

Shelli said...

hey katie - I feel for you as a member of the ADHD club. Arg. You still coming Oct 4th?

Guess what - laini taylor read and commented on my blog - holy cow!

Disco Mermaids said...

Katie, I love your process AND your shirt. Can I borrow both?

;-)
Robin

Katie said...

Shelli - YES! Still planning on cruising over to Atlanta Oct. 4th weekend - I'll email ya later.

(Did you hear that Robin?? I'm going to Hotlanta!!!)

And how cool to have "The Wizard" comment on your site!!!! (that would be the pink haired genius :-)

Robin - now I know that my process would make an OCD gal like yourself crazy, right?!!! Do you write all willy nilly like me???

And you can def. borrow my cute dress!

Miss you guys!

xoxox

K

Hardygirl said...

I think, perhaps, Robin is the ONLY other person who could fit into that cute dress. Eat something, you two!! sf

Our Motto

Our Motto