Actually, I love sticky notes. I think they're fun and cool and I love all the bright colors. But for plotting, they just don't seem to help me.

I promised myself I would try being organized with this book, so I followed the advice of a well-known author and started plotting via sticky notes. I see the advantages: you can move the plot around, try different timelines, and see where POV changes or major events occur.

The problem for me is that it seems to add work rather than helping. I have the story that's in my head and the story that's gradually forming in the computer. Now I've got the dumb sticky notes too. I have to keep updating the info, changing the order, and remembering which character is which color, and it hasn't yet paid off in clarification.

I haven't finished with it yet, so it may be that it will help in the end. But right now, it's just making me more confused, kind of like the outlines they used to make us do in junior high. I always found it easier to write the paper first, then make the outline from that.

That could work with stickies, too. Sort of a check-when-complete rather than a pre-made plan.

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Comment by Peg Herring on April 1, 2009 at 5:45am
That might be helpful. Organizing but not going too far ahead. And I still get to play with all that color.
Comment by Dana King on March 31, 2009 at 11:21pm
I used to work with colored index cards much the way you're using the sticky notes; I know what's bothering you. I tried something different for the current WIP. I have the basic bones on the story in my head, and I'm only outlining six or eight chapters at a time. Once I get to the end of what I have outlined, I look ahead again. It lets me keep the original structure without locking me into it, so new ideas that spring up as I write can develop into their own lines if they need to. So far I like it.

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