Shannon Stacey

Talking to myself on paper

I love the BS-sketch. It’s a very, very huge part of the process for me, but it’s something I don’t do until some of the book is already written. Here’s the sketch so far for Wings of Death:

It’s so…free. I find if I try to plot with lined paper or on the computer, my thoughts feel a need to be orderly and somewhat grammatically correct. The BS-sketch is just thought leading to another thought, connected by arrows. I literally talk to myself in a manner I can save to read later—I “talk” the plot out. And it’s very…rough. :grin: I pulled a few inset shots from the big sheet (and translated):

how is randomly killing people penance for killing people? DOH!

The free-flowing thought process and the act of connecting the dots, so to speak, helps me identify plot holes and logic problems. Questions that need to be answered. DOH! is being fairly nice to myself, I must say. In the BS-sketch for one of my secret projects I have DUMBASS!!! in all caps, underlined, circled and bolded by running the pencil over and over the letters. It wasn’t a plot hole, but a wicked huge breakdown in logic.

revealing this to him- midpoint due to its significance which is…something

Here I’ve managed to place an event in the story arc. I know it’s significant. I just don’t know why. (At that point. I do now.)

HEA in a short time—kindred souls? GAG

Here I’ve started BS-ing the issue of bringing two strangers from extreme conflict to happily ever after over the course of a novella. My reaction to the kindred souls (I think I meant destined mates or whatever) speaks for itself.

Before the book is done (umm…soon since my deadline looms) the page will be completely full of notes, circles and arrows. And I only do one side of one sheet. Sometimes, toward the end, I have to write really, really small. *g*

6 comments to “Talking to myself on paper”

  1. Mel
      · July 11th, 2006 at 10:00 pm · Link

    Hey, why didn’t I know about this way earlier?

    I’m gonna have to try it. there’s times I wish I could draw arrows on my computer screen.

  2. Jaci Burton
      · July 11th, 2006 at 10:04 pm · Link

    i so need to do this because i make a huge nonsensical mess out of my word document


  3. Shannon
      · July 11th, 2006 at 10:07 pm · Link

    I’d like to get a giant dry-erase board for it, but I like to keep them. Plus I work on more than one project at a time. AND, I can fold these in quarters and they fit in my purse.

  4. May
      · July 12th, 2006 at 1:51 am · Link

    I tried pen and paper.

    But it turns out the same–I don’t do the arrows. Mine comes in bullet points, and it’s just easier if I can go back up, hit enter, and start a new line in between two points. :type:

  5. Bryan
      · July 12th, 2006 at 11:07 am · Link

    This is very cool.

    I don’t think it would work for me, but I’m always fascinated by other writers’ methods. I tend to work from printed manuscripts writing notes in margins, between lines, headers, footers, back of the page. When it’s time to get a clean sheet, I reprint the manuscript and start over. Hopefully, by that time all the reasons for the notes prior have been resolved (or at least addressed).

  6. Anna Lucia
      · July 13th, 2006 at 11:58 am · Link

    Shan, I’m totally with you on this one. I take home used-on-one-side sheets of flipchart paper from work and pin them up. Sometimes a sheet of paper on the desk won’t cut it – sometimes it takes the writing on the wall.

    There’s also something about thinking big to write big, but whatever it is, it works.

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