Thursday, July 5, 2012

Want to Finish that Novel? Post it!

Anjanette Delgado, Wall of Clairvoyance, 2010
Don't remember where I picked up this tip, but it works wonders for bohemians with unpublished novels sitting in drawers waiting to be finished, and was instrumental in helping me finish my latest novel, The Clairvoyant of 8th Street.

Here's the gist: affix a sheet of paper to the wall for each of your estimated chapters, and number them. Then,  every time you think of a scene or an event in your novel, write it on a post it and place it on the sheet for the chapter where you think it should go. 
As you go along, you'll be changing the order of your scenes, eliminating some and adding others, and this will help you organize your thoughts visually, without writing and rewriting your order on the page until you're ready to commit to a sequence of events.

Seeing the "wall of chapters" every time you go from the bedroom to the living room is also very helpful for reminding yourself to write, and because it doesn't even require firing up your computer or sitting down with the intention of writing, it feels almost organic. You think you're just stopping in front of the wall for a few minutes, but you're actually making writing decisions, and it is the grouping of all those decisions that will help you finish your novel. 

Now, go post!

Anjanette Delgado, Post Its, 2010
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  1. I love this very visual strategy. I will be trying it out!

  2. Not that you need it, my talented friend, but it really does work. Keeps that big mess that is an unfinished novel, right there in front of you where you can see all the pieces. :)

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