#FirstDraft60 Day 5 — Plan to Make Lists. Start Making Lists
Happy Saturday, everyone! This is going to be a quick post because today’s the day on which we can get caught up with our Story Bible prep work and we can cheat and work ahead on characters or plotting, or even downright writing, if we want!
We have lots of stuff to keep track of, both for our story in progress as well as just general writing-related stuff.
Which brings me to today’s assignment.
Make lists. Lots and lots of lists.
Something every successful con artist or pathological liar knows is that you MUST keep track of the details; you have to know whom you told what and when. Since those of us who call ourselves writers know that what we’re doing is basically telling lies for fun and fortune (okay, maybe not so much fortune as farthings), we need to remember what we’ve made up. So that’s what we’ve been working on setting up for the last few days: our Story Bible, where we can keep track of these details.
But there are a lot of other things we want to remember also, whether for this story or the next. For example:
Potential Character Names (some of mine are: Elaine, Stephen, Montgomery, Elisa, Joycelyn, Brandon, Kyle, Dacia, Liane, Neal, Ryan, Shaun (F), Alexander, Deborah, Grace)
Interesting Words (synonyms for loud: forte, fortissimo, sonorous, deafening, ear-rending, thunderous, crashing, booming, full-throated, trumpet-voiced, clangorous, clamorous, blaring; synonyms for do: act, serve, practice, take action, proceed, go ahead, run with it, make it so, get on with it, have a go, effect, bring about, deliver)
Possible Titles (The Wooing of Mrs. Paroo, House Mother, The Thirty-Five Guarantee, There Is Nothing Lost, Your Right to Remain Wrong, The Very Thought of You, The Bride’s Spinster Aunt, The Spinster Aunt Conquers the World, etc.)
Interesting Things Overheard (At a restaurant: “As soon as we get back to the office, we need to put a kill order in on McCall.” Guy on the phone at Panera: “How do you feel about widows?” Heard on ESPN: “Cooler than the flip side of the pillow.”)
There are also business/industry things we need to keep track of:
Networking Contacts (Agents/editors met at conferences; authors met at conferences; authors, publicists, book sellers met at book signings; librarians, book buyers, writing teachers)
Blogs (those to read daily, weekly, or occasionally—Feedly.com is great for this)
Reading Lists (books to read for fun; books in my genre for critical reading/study; research books; craft books; nonfiction; devotionals)
Research Resources (contacts for interviews, websites, books, museums)
And so on.
These can be kept hand-written in notebooks or you can use my old method of various sizes and colors of Post-it Notes stuck to the sides of the computer and the wall. Or you can type them up and keep them electronically.
So while this assignment isn’t necessarily specific to your current story in progress, it is a good idea, if you haven’t done so already, to create a “lists book,” or a central location where you keep your lists for easy access for when you want to use something from them or need to add something to them.
Happy list-making, everyone!
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