Back into the planning for NaNo blogging :) Yes, I’ve been procrastinating. It’s what I do best ;)
Spreadsheets (more of a chart, really, because it’s hand drawn on two facing pages of the big red book, but an excel or Open Office Calc file would do the same job) are what I use to keep track of my threads (those subplots and not plotty enough to be subplot thingies I was talking about the other week). It’s your story at a glance, really. Everything on one (or two) page. And it forces you to not get all long winded about aspects of your plot, scenes and stuff (long winded goes elsewhere).
Depending on my story and how I’m outlining, I might break up the rows and columns by chapter, or I might break it up by day or by week. On the other axis goes the threads, which might be major events, subplots, tiny little things that need emphasis throughout the story.
Once again, I am repeating in my spreadsheet some of the stuff that I have in other parts of my outline, but it serves to emphasise the main points in my mind, and also sometimes you want to be able to see how everything fits together. The spreadsheet is one of my favourite ways to outline.
Yes, I stole the idea from JK Rowling. Her spreadsheet is below.
Not long till you can submit your stories to the fest! You’ve got till 30th October to submit, so if you haven’t gone along to grab a prompt yet, do it now. Minimum word count is a drabble, and anyone can rattle one of those off easy peasy, so get involved!