If you weren’t aware, I’m currently writing two novels and recently agreed to write a short story. One story is close to my heart and the words flow from a familiar, natural place. There aren’t any outrageous twists or turns in the plot and the characters resonate with me on a personal level. The other tale has worked it’s way into my heart, but mainly because it’s grown out of my head-space down into the part of me that is passionate and evolving constantly. On another note, my short story is a fun escape from reality into a paranormal universe filled with adventure and snarky characters.
The settings, plots, sub-plots, and characters all started out as snowflakes that fell from a creative idea cloud. As they worked themselves into my thoughts and dreams, they whirled together to form a tiny snowball at the back of my mind. Time and outlining and research and more time provided the perfect slope for those little snowballs to plummet down. My spheres of jumbled thoughts gathered momentum and accumulated new notion-filled snowflakes, causing them to grow and become unstoppable.
The past few weeks I have felt compelled write, or be squished by giant snowballs. Those seem to be the only options, but there has to be a way to control this snowball effect and save my sanity.
I’m currently working on keeping up with the progress of each project in separate notebooks. I write snippets of scenes, jot notes down about characters, and work through the timelines.
This software offers a more organized approach than my notebooks. I like to use both, but as things get confusing in my notebook I work through them as I transfer the notes into pretty files and orderly documents.
I’m not a huge Evernote user, unless I’m on the road. I love the functionality of using this app on my phone and being able to retrieve the notes on my laptop. (It has pretty folders too.)
This suggestion is for all of my visual learners. I am enthralled with Pinterest. It not only makes my personal style look way cooler than it is, but it offers a way for me to ‘see’ my characters and settings. I create boards for each project (some are set to Private), and scroll through all the lovely images when I’m feeling a little lost or dry.
I know putting your ideas out there can feel scary, but a little objectivity will do you good. Another person can help you whittle your ideas into a beautiful story, but they can also provide insight into the place or people you’re writing about. Collaboration shouldn’t be feared, but embraced.
The snowball effect can motivate or trample a writer. Eventually, you’ll figure out your own specific way to work with your snowballing ideas. I hope these tips help you feel in control as you get started!