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#FirstDraft60 Day 5: Lists. Lists. Lists. #amwriting #nanoprep #nanowrimo

Thursday, October 6, 2016

#FirstDraft60 | KayeDacus.comWhen we’re writing, 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—in addition to a whole bunch of real-life stuff as well.

But it’s not just our current story for which we want to keep track of things. There are a lot of other things we want to remember also, whether for this story or the next. For example:
Names Used in This Manuscript:
#FirstDraft60 Day 5: Make lists. Lots and lots of lists. | KayeDacus.com
(Created when I was working on the second draft of Ransome’s Honor and I started renaming a few characters.)

Character Lists (especially in novels/series with large cast lists):
#FirstDraft60 Day 5: Make lists. Lots and lots of lists. | KayeDacus.com
(The crews of the three main ships in the Ransome series.)

Name Ideas:
#FirstDraft60 Day 5: Make lists. Lots and lots of lists. | KayeDacus.com
(Lists of names from Jane Austen’s books as well as from some of my research books, such as Life Before the Mast.)

Or for brainstorming when trying to come up with a more suitable name for your heroine:
day-5-new-name-list

Interesting and/or Story-Specific Words/Phrases:
#FirstDraft60 Day 5: Make lists. Lots and lots of lists. | KayeDacus.com

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.”)

Research Resources:
#FirstDraft60 Day 5: Make lists. Lots and lots of lists. | KayeDacus.com

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—for fun, for information, for research, for Pinterest obsessions… I use Feedly for this)
#FirstDraft60 Day 5: Make lists. Lots and lots of lists. | KayeDacus.com

Reading Lists (books to read for fun; books in my genre for critical reading/study; research books; craft books; nonfiction; devotionals—I use a combination of Goodreads and Excel for this)

#FirstDraft60 Day 5: Make lists. Lots and lots of lists. | KayeDacus.com
day-5-excel-tbr

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, as most of these here are.

Day 5 Assignment:
Think about all of the pieces and details that you need to be keeping track of, both for your story and for everything else going on around you. What lists do you already have/use that you rely on? What could you do better if you made lists? Do you think making/keeping up with lists would make you more efficient? How? What are a few key lists that you need to make or have already started making for the story you’re working on in this challenge?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Thursday, October 6, 2016 2:07 pm

    Think about all of the pieces and details that you need to be keeping track of, both for your story and for everything else going on around you.
    What lists do you already have/use that you rely on? None
    What could you do better if you made lists? Keep track of all my characters and names and my research sources which I’ve never actually done before.
    Do you think making/keeping up with lists would make you more efficient? Possibly
    How? Well, my story is meant to be the start of a series so keeping track of the characters would be helpful rather than trying to remember them all. And noting my historical sources is important so I don’t have to find them later.
    What are a few key lists that you need to make or have already started making for the story you’re working on in this challenge? I have added the names used, characters, bibliography and possible titles to a list section of my scrivener binder. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thursday, October 6, 2016 5:44 pm

    What lists do you already have/use that you rely on? I keep lots of lists but not in one place, and I tend to lose track of them so they’re not very useful. OneNote would really help with this.
    What could you do better if you made lists? Manage research; keep track of ideas (for stories, career opportunities, books to read, web design issues, blog topics, etc.); pursue the goals and projects that matter most.
    Do you think making/keeping up with lists would make you more efficient? Probably.
    How? They might serve as reminders to follow through. If something isn’t in front of me, I have a habit of forgetting about it at times.
    What are a few key lists that you need to make or have already started making for the story you’re working on in this challenge? I’ve made a list of characters and space to add their profiles. I should make lists of scene ideas, details to layer in, and research I’ve started (plus many other lists I’m probably not thinking of yet).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Carol permalink
    Thursday, October 6, 2016 8:42 pm

    So right now I have a list of story questions to answer when I start working on the plot outline/story beats. I use Goodreads to list the books I want to read. I do a menu/grocery list almost every week to help us spend less at the grocery store. I like the idea of list of potential names-that might help in the future for naming characters.
    I’m odd-I do the grocery list/menu on paper (I may type it in Word or Pages then print it, but it’s on paper). My writing related lists are (so far) electronic. But I’m currently enamored of the big ole graph paper pad Kaye found at Staples so I envision lots of hand written lists for this story. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Friday, October 14, 2016 9:15 am

    The Stickies app on my MacBook Pro is my best friend (not really, but close!). So many random things I need to remember–and so many tidy and colour co-ordinated ways to keep track of them with this app. 🙂

    Like

    • Friday, October 14, 2016 9:16 am

      Also wanted to say that you have such pretty handwriting! 🙂

      Like

  5. Monday, October 17, 2016 12:04 am

    What lists do you already have/use that you rely on? What could you do better if you made lists? Do you think making/keeping up with lists would make you more efficient? How? What are a few key lists that you need to make or have already started making for the story you’re working on in this challenge?

    I use a lot of calendars in my day job but I really think of them more like a list – who is on duty in which building, what program is a RA doing – that kinds of stuff. I also use lists when I don’t want to forget something. When I write it done, it’s stuck in my head, even if I forget to take the note home. I will be making lists of the name used, especially for the secondary characters and back story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tuesday, October 18, 2016 12:59 am

    I think I’m a little confused on this assignment. I get the idea of keeping lists of characters, potential names, links to research, etc. but I’m getting lost when it comes to Goodreads books to read, blogs, and networking contacts? Unless they are needed for research on your story, why would I want or need to make lists of those last things when I’m trying to write a story?

    Like

    • Wednesday, October 19, 2016 5:59 pm

      We make/keep lists of books, blogs, networking contacts, etc., because it’s all part the job of being a writer. There’s more to the profession of “writing” than just putting words on a page to form a story. As I mentioned in the post: “When we’re writing, we have lots of stuff to keep track of, both for our story in progress as well as just general writing-related stuff” and “we need to remember what we’ve made up—in addition to a whole bunch of real-life stuff as well. But it’s not just our current story for which we want to keep track of things. There are a lot of other things we want to remember also, whether for this story or the next.”

      Sorry if that was confusing! 😀

      Like

Trackbacks

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