3×5 Happiness

Well, it’s not quite been two weeks since mailing the crime nov to NY, NY, and I’ve been luxuriating in all the usual pleasures of the domicile. Made bacon, leek, & tomato carbonara together one night, experimented with chocolate ganache cupcakes, cleaned the bathroom, decluttered all the usual spots, played stylist and came up with some NON-pajama looks, read a couple of books, got some exercise, etc.

I figured it was time to get a move on with life, howev, when I found myself holed up on Tuesday with friends, drinking margaritas and watching the Kardashians.

Not that that doesn’t have therapeutic benefits of its own.¬†But, I guess I see my situation as the age old conundrum: book, baby, or alcohol.

I keep choosing book because having a child Right This Minute for distraction purposes feels sketchy and repeated application of alcohol just makes me sleepy and morbid.

Book it shall be.

And, can I just share the resounding glory of a newly hatching book?

Am trying a new, 3×5 card system for plotting my book, since plots are always my bane. I love character development. I love a good conflict. I love dialogue and setting. But, the carefully constructed plot that builds in slow layers to reach a death-defying climax exactly 280 pages in, that will be totally resolved by pages 330, and neatly tucked to rest by 340… what can I say? It eludes.

Therefore: 3×5.

Am also color-coding them for maximum usefulness. The standard white ones are for plot elements: actions, suspicions, specific scenes or conversations that forward the central mystery.

Pink is for relationships, and you can see in the picture that I’m just trying to figure out where and how to weave the relationship arcs into the main plot.

Blue is for historical details. I’ve read a handful of books about the time period by now and have pages of notes… that aren’t doing me any good lost in my writing files. Specific facts (say, about the railway strikes in January 1919) will be a whole lot more help if they’re neatly placed right in the story board where I need them.

Finally, the yellow cards that you saw in the first picture are for characters, so I can see exactly where and when I’m introducing people for the first time and what details need to be conveyed.

And, of course, I’m a goon, so most of my plot cards have titles like “No Note = Murder” and “The Firmness of Mrs. Balfour’s Upper Lip” and “The Education of Tom Villers.”

Because I’m all about efficiency.

On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I have NEVER been so well prepared for a book. Hail and well met, L and Winding Road.



4 thoughts on “3×5 Happiness

  1. What a cool plan! I love that you’re problem solving your headachy writing weaknesses, or at least the ickier bits you’re less motivated by. Brilliant.

    AND…can I add that its so fun to see all these pictures to illustrate the concept. Great shots! Especially the last one.

    Also. You have very clean carpet. How come there are no small squishy bits in it? *sigh*

  2. 1. you make me laugh. =)
    2. i’m SO excited you’re working on a new book! =)
    3. i LOVE your organization! color-coded notecards? genius. =)
    4. what’s wrong with work attire that consists of hoodies & pj pants? haha =)
    5. i love you! =)

  3. I, too, was quite taken with that last shot. Really cool. And I’m seriously impressed that you are already that far along in your research and plot development on YET another book. I’m not sure I could keep that many projects stewing in my brain.

  4. I’m sooo impressed by how hard you work and how disciplined you seem to be! I like your idea of color coding and using the cards to visually organize your thoughts!!! Here are many good wishes and motivational flashes of inspiration for the long and winding road! I hope you can also enjoy the view while you journey.

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