I attended a little get together on Saturday at Liz Shulte’s home. She’s a successful self-published author and I’m glad to have her as a friend. At this get together, she imparted the awesome organizational powers of Post-it Notes. I’ve decided to try to implement her suggestions in the plotting of the second novel in the series I am writing. I’m kind of excited! Although it is a lot more work upfront, I definitely see this being a big help in the editing stages.
Basically, you have a crap ton of Post-it Notes in all different colors. Each color represents a different thing in your story (as I will explain below). You draw blocks on a big piece of grid paper, and each block represents a chapter (or for a short story, they could represent scenes). The system is very flexible. You can change it up however you’d like. Change the colors. Instead of a grid paper, use a notebook and each page represents a chapter (hmm…I kind of like that idea…). Here are the colors I’ve assigned to my story planning based on the session at Liz’s:
- Orange: Plot points
- Blue: Main Character #1 Point of View
- Purple: M.C. #2 POV
- Pink: M.C. #3 POV
- Red: M.C. #4 POV
- Yellow: World-Building
- Heart-shaped: Relationship Building/Emotions
- Green: Setting
For now, these are the colors I’m working with, but Liz had more colors she had assigned to things like: villain, character backstory, word count, etc. I may add these in, but I’m tailoring to what works best for me. For instance, I have characters that are opposing my main characters for sure, but the main “villain” is the harsh culture in which they live.
I’m hoping to map out the next story by December in order for me to do a NaNoWriMo-ish thing in between my school semesters. Thank you Liz! Wish me luck people!
Do you use Post-it Notes? What are your methods for planning out your work?