I’ve discovered in the past couple years that I am an outliner. And though I’d like to outline by hand–because writing longhand gives my brain more time to think about the words I’m putting down–I find doing so extremely difficult. This is because, as an outliner and as a writer, I always put down less on paper than I want to, only to add more later. (This is why Revision Mode on Scrivener/Track Changes on Word are the BEST INVENTIONS KNOWN TO MAN.) But I always want to write by hand.
So. My solution?
Post-Its. Also known as Lifesavers. Not the candy.
With Post-Its, I can put the very, very bare outlines of my plot into my notebook, leaving a page of space or so in between each parts, which I usually divide into the standard three acts of storytelling. Then, the Post-Its go to work, and I can add or take them out easily without messy lines crossing out words and words on the lovely pages of my notebook*, and without running out of space in between plot points that need a little more UMPH to them.
Now, you might be saying, “Hey, Kristine. That sounds great. One problem, though… Post-Its are totally temporary. They fall off when you sneeze too hard. Or when you breathe.”
To which I say: Super Sticky*. Lifesavers. Still not the candy.
You can even use different colored Post-Its to indicate different things that you want to plop into your story. Looking through my notebook, I notice that all my “Plot” notes are on green normal-sized Post-Its, while dialogue I want to try and fit in goes on pink. Any questions I have for myself go on yellow, and any extra notes that I think of for any of my notes goes on the mini stickies. Everything’s hunky dory.
So that’s my Post-It schpeal. How do you use sticky notes?
*One of the reasons I find it very difficult to keep up a journal, mostly because I hate when I mess up my handwriting and have to cross things out. And I don’t want to type one. And I don’t want to use white out.
Sometimes I am much too stubborn.
**I swear I’m not getting paid for all of this. Post-Its are just wonderful for my sanity. I have a drawer filled with Post-Its of various colors, and some even with lines. I’m not kidding.