Laundry and I have a love hate relationship. It loves to grow. I hate to do laundry. You can laugh if you want, but a house of six, three of which are young boys who love dirt, dares and sports can challenge even the most dedicated laundry expert. Which. I’m. Not.
In all my mommy wisdom, I have begun to teach my kids laundry basics. Hey, it sure beats my husband wearing pink socks whenever the kids help out with the laundry. As you can guess, the first major piece of wisdom I shared with my kids was how to sort colors before putting them in the washer.
As writers sometimes we come out with pink plot, just like my husband’s socks. What am I talking about? The simple mix-up that occurs when we sort our ideas incorrectly and place them in the plot.
Brainstorming is a powerful tool for writers, but sometimes we don’t know what to do with the ideas we have during a brainstorming session. We either put them in the wrong part of the book or add them to a book they don’t fit in.
5 Tips To Sorting Your Writing Ideas:
*Create a Dumping File on Your Computer. You may have some fabulous ideas while brainstorming that have nothing to do with this story. Put those ideas into an idea file to be used later.
*Create a Three Act Structure Grid on Paper. (It can also be on a white board.) As ideas come to your mind determine which part of the book they fit in the best. Stick the idea on a post-it note and place it under that Act of the book. Don’t worry about individual order at this time.
*Create a Character Scene Page on Paper. As you have ideas for individual scenes, put these ideas on a post-it note and place it on the page. After you have completed plotting your ideas from tip one, then you can create a story grid from these using a three act structure chart.
*Create a Dialogue Idea Page. As you brainstorm, if funny comments come to mind or powerful phrases. Write them down on a piece of paper with the initials of who will say them. This will help you come up with creative dialogue and a general sense for the way you want a certain character to talk.
*Sort Your Ideas By Point of View. It is important to ask yourself who would be the most powerful POV perspective for each scene. Also, giving each character’s POV a different colored post-it will help you to visualize immediately if you have a balanced number of scenes per POV.
What sorting techniques have you found helpful while brainstorming?