How I Jackson Pollocked my Novel

I solved my problem of exploding notes.

I had a little inspiration after a flippant comment to my hubby that the disarray of my notes was the literary version of a Jackson Pollock creation (not the whole priceless art part, just the mess part) .

So I unrolled my daughter’s easel paper along one wall, grabbed the first stack of notes (the one that was most organized), and started throwing ideas on the paper. It was the most writing fun I’ve had since week 3 of NaNoWriMo!

Thankfully, the result wasn’t completely chaotic. I was striving for a visual layout of the outline, putting each already written scene up on the paper, along with point of view character and major conflict. I left space between each scene for additions or other notes, which I filled in as I found the bits and pieces recorded in my other notebooks.

And I left space at one end for a revised character list, to keep track of the changes I had mentally made to the cast.

Words were flying, and new ideas were gelling around the holes in my original draft… it was beautiful. The most helpful part of the exercise, is that it gave me a sense of proportion. I could actually see that too many scenes were devoted to some relatively minor parts of the plot, and other major points were simply hidden within other scenes. Seeing it all on this roll of craft paper made the edits seem a little more clear.

And it was loads of fun! Luckily, I have more crazy notes to sort through tonight, so I get to do it again!

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