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Monday, June 16th 2008

12:15 AM

Saving Time While Writing


Whoooohooooo.  This is one of those weeks when I'm glad that I go first among the Babes.  That's because this week's topic asks us to share about things that help us save time while writing.  Those things can be something physical like an AlphaSmart or an egg timer, a program, a method or anything else.

If you'd asked me this a week ago, my blog post would have been the journal equivalent of a big fat goose egg.  Zip.  Zero.  Nada.   There are authors who are organized out the wazoo with charts, dry erase boards, plotting programs, collages and tons of other stuff to make the writing go smoother and faster -- or at least neater.

I'm not one of them.  My pre-book preparation to date usually included a Goal-Motivation-Conflict chart for the hero and heroine and a number of documents and emails in which I'd freewritten anything from scene ideas to character histories to loose plot points.

You see, I usually get an idea for a book and then spend weeks in musing mode.  I think about the characters and story; who they are and what interests me enough to make up a story for them.  When the need strikes, I fire off one of those aforementioned, freewritten documents.

I could muse indefinitely before I actually sit down and start writing. 

Some would say that I muse to the point of blatant procrastination.

Some would be at least half right.

That all changed last Sunday when excellent close friend and critique partner Jennifer Wagner introduced me to the WIP Notebook created by author Jeannie Ruesch.  Available in electronic download format or in spiral bound notebook, this is one amazing tool for any author's work-in-progress.  It takes you from concept to completion to submission and publication.  It's not only a gold mine.  This is the mother lode.

What a revelation.  I'm pretty sure that when Jennifer first showed off her notebook, a choir of angels belted out the Hallelujah Chorus.

I downloaded mine a couple of days ago and have been working with it ever since.  It doesn't detract from my creative musing process.  Instead, it focuses my musing in ways that eliminate the procrastination and develop the information I need to write fully developed characters with genuine conflicts and lives and put them together in an engaging story.

That's the most significant benefit for me -- the sharper, clearer focus.  The fact that it is helping me accomplish this in less time is a bonus.

Definitely worth the $6.95 is cost me for the download.  If you want to find out more, visit Jeannie's website www.jeannieruesch.com.

I'm a changed woman! 

Why does all this make me glad that I'm the lead-off blogging Babe?  Well, Jennifer and I also told Babe Beth Ciotta about the WIP Notebook and she's using it, too.   I don't know for sure if she'd planned to write about it on her blogging day, but if so, I beat her to it.  Sorry, B!

Beth could be deriving a completely different benefit from the notebook.  So whatever she has to say will be interesting for sure!


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