Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Giving Board

Once there was a plotting board...and she loved a little writer. Every day the writer would come to the board and the board would say, "Come writer, fill me with sticky notes, scribble with EXPO markers in my margins, lay out your turning points and be happy." And the writer did.

But the writer stayed away for a long time. And when she returned the board nearly slid from the wall with joy. And the board said, "Come writer, fill me with rainbow Post-its, scribble in my margins, plot and be happy."

"I do not use Post-its anymore," said the writer. "They kill trees and slide off the board and stick to my feet like toilet paper in a bus terminal restroom. I want digital Post-its that have search features and customized colors and editing features so that I do not have to rewrite when I forget something. Can you give me digital Post-its?"

"I have no digital Post-its," said the board. "Come, writer, take my hulking mass from your closet and sell it in the Spring yard sale. Then you can ditch your 30 day trial version and be happy."

So the writer did. And she was happy.


Vesper said...

A somehow sad happy story... :-)

Maureen McGowan said...

I have two words: Mac and Scrivener

Scrivener, which is only available on a Mac, is currently changing my life. (I hope for the better.)

Digital post its and color-coded stick pins that with the press of a button compilie into a synopsis and can be moved around with ease. And then you can create a document/scene associated with each of the post-its and compile those into a book.


Not sure whether I'll actually use it for the writing part. But loving it for the plotting/organizing part. Am tempted to use it for the writing part because I can envision its awesomeness in the revisions, move-everything around stage I almost always need to put myself through... especially with books with a lot of subplots/POVs.

Pam said...

What Maureen said--Scrivener is fab-u-lous!!! I used it to write my last book and loved it to pieces! But I'm a Mac junkie and have no problem preaching it. :)

the walking man said...

I'm too lazy to write notes, I just write on the walls of the asylum.

Charles Gramlich said...

I do write notes for myself, but then seldom look at the notes. Maybe a digital bulletin board is the way to go.

Barbara Martin said...

I have a plotting board with a chart listing scenes in each of my chapters in each of my manuscripts. It saves on flipping through screens on the computer which can drive me crazy after awhile. Its on the board in one nice tidy place and only a reach away.

Jen FitzGerald said...

I like having my plotting board be a large physical thing. Like Barbara, I like to be able to step away from the computer as I work on an old laptop with a small screen. It's also a pain to have to flip back and forth between pages.

But if your digital plotting board makes you more happy and more productive, than more power to you.

That's the great thing about this endeavor--the right way is what works best for the individual.


L.A. Mitchell said...

Vesper...I adore THE GIVING was one of my favorite books as a kid.

Maureen and Pam...sounds perfect, though I'm not on the Mac team.

Walking man...;) cute

Charles...maybe once you write it down, your brain internalizes it.

Barbara and Jen...I definitely understand the tactile thing and the need to get away from the computer. The issue I have with post-its is the glue doesn't hold forever and my scenes fall to the floor. Sometimes I can't remember where they went. Grr. Jen's right..whatever works is fantastic :)

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