Author Topic: Need help organizing MGer  (Read 2884 times)

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Brookie Wookie

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Need help organizing MGer
« on: August 09, 2008, 11:09 AM »
I've been working on an MGer--currently 25000 words. I don't know how some of you write big honking things--it's all I can do to TRY and keep this one organized. Part of the problem is I wrote it completely out of order--and have moved scenes around.

I'm looking for suggestions--

I need help creating a timeline. I also need help creating some sort of table for tracking plots/sub plots and characters. Does anyone have any advice? I would be most grateful!

Offline anita

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Re: Need help organizing MGer
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2008, 03:15 PM »
I wrote an article on revising for the NJ SCBWI magazine, Sprouts, that is posted at  http://www.newjerseyscbwi.com/sproutstakeapeek.shtml  Click on "The End is Only the Beginning..." under sample articles.  Cheryl Klein referred to it in her blog.  I do talk about outlining, etc. 

Hope it helps.

anita

karlinhtown

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Re: Need help organizing MGer
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2008, 06:12 PM »
I like to storyboard. I write each scene on a 3x5 card and tack it to a board in order of its appearance in the story. When I think of something new, I write on the appropriate 3x5, or start a new one if I need to. It gives me a snapshot of the overall story and helps keep me on track.

Offline KateMessner

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Re: Need help organizing MGer
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2008, 06:27 PM »
I've heard good things about a software program called Scrivener. I tried out the free demo version, and it lets you move scenes around and rearrange note cards and such.  Ultimately, the software ended up being too organized for my brain, but may be helpful to you - just Google it and I'm sure you'll find the demo download.
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Offline lynnek

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Re: Need help organizing MGer
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2008, 07:15 PM »
I'm not a great organizer, either, so I have all these scenes I know I want to include in my MG novel and I'm not exactly sure where they're going to fit. But I love Post-it Notes! I wrote scenes or plot points on some Post-its, then arranged those in a file folder so I can put them in some kind of order and see how they'll fit. There are also Post-it index cards you can use if you want to write more on each note. I also bought some butcher paper and cut enough to post across three walls in my guest bedroom. Before I hung that up, I folded it into 30 sections, to match the number of chapters I expect to have. I've written down things I want to track, like story threads, subplots, someone's character development, etc., and when I'm revising I'll use a different-colored marker for each of those things, making a little note on the butcher paper whenever they're mentioned in the book. When I'm finished I'll look at that to make sure I'm not dropping a story thread or to see if I've developed a subplot or character enough.

karlinhtown

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Re: Need help organizing MGer
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2008, 03:40 AM »
Scrivener is very cool but I think it only works with Macs

Brookie Wookie

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Re: Need help organizing MGer
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2008, 11:41 AM »
I wrote an article on revising for the NJ SCBWI magazine, Sprouts, that is posted at  http://www.newjerseyscbwi.com/sproutstakeapeek.shtml  Click on "The End is Only the Beginning..." under sample articles.  Cheryl Klein referred to it in her blog.  I do talk about outlining, etc. 

Hope it helps.

anita

Thanks for posting that article-I thought it was fabulous and just what I needed. I think some combination of your article and lynnek's color coding system on butcher paper will work well for me.

Brookie Wookie

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Re: Need help organizing MGer
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2008, 08:52 AM »
This was posted in the MG section as a helpful website for organization advice:

http://www.jennymeyerhoff.com/schools.html

Offline angela

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Re: Need help organizing MGer
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2008, 10:06 AM »
Anita's article is great. Cheryle kline talks about revision and gives examples in one of her lectures on her website (I think her website is separate from her blog)
Karen Kincy (where's Karen been) had some great journal posts about storyboarding with index cards.


I failed at the notecard thing...but I tried this instead:

Print the whole darn thing out

Used those thin stickynotes of different colors to indicate different things (location, secondary characters, story line....it is okay to have more than one on a page)
Then I divided the mss into stacks to see how it was weighted and what could be cut (or combined)

I hope that makes sense????

And try this: Put it in the best order you can and send it to your critique group!


Good luck!!!
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