Sharing my WIP – my timeline

3 Jul

I have just finished creating a timeline for my current WIP. It is, along with many other writing stages, something I have never felt the need to complete before. Maybe that is because I have never felt the need to do so before – maybe that is why I have always been left with a gap in my writing?

Before I go any further I must briefly explain my stages that I have completed already.

Step 1.

So naturally the first step is coming up with the idea. As the first stages of this WIP was part of a university assignment, I felt a pressure to get cracking immediately. As a result I wasted four months just trying to hash together an idea around a strong scene in my mind. When another scene eventually came to me, the one that inspired this WIP, I quickly scrapped the past four months work and wrote the first three chapters in an hour.

Step 2.

Oh I did this in step 1. My rule for step 2 is to try writing the first chapter/scene as is your wish. If it trickles from the fingertips then you are onto a winner. If by the second paragraph you are struggling, try re-examining step 1, or at the very least take some more thinking time.

Step 3.

Think about your idea. How can it develop? Is there a big enough idea for a novel, or will a short story be better suited?

Having completed the first three steps, I started to write further chapters, so many of my characters were itching to get onto the page, and the ideas were bursting, that I couldn’t afford to lose time thinking and planning. I am now ready to write chapter thirteen (I have shuffled my chapters about already and started chopping uh-oh), so now it is time to start my planning in full.

I should mention that in between all of this, I have already written a synopsis. To do that, I created a chapter plan. This involved highlighting in a few lines, the main event in each chapter.

The timeline I have now created has followed the plot through the first twelve chapters. Using the notebook on my iPad, I have written what happens on each day of the week, alongside questions each chapter is making me ask, as well as changes I can already see need to be made. Why mention my iPad I hear you ask. Well, I can have the pages open to refer to as I am typing, and maintain it as I add my additional text. Previously I have always used a pad and pen to keep little notes, but they always get messy. I like the tidiness of this option.

Already from looking at these notes I can see a major flaw in my work. Initially I wanted the complete crime (yep, it is a crime novel) to be solved within the space of a week. The rate I am going, it will be more like a month. This may not be a problem, and may end up working  well in the long run. I will only know further on down the line, but it is good to be aware of these things.

My next planning stages are my character bibles, my location plan and research into my chosen crime. Each of these I intend to give full posts on how I have chosen to do these steps. Each will be more in-depth than I have ever completed before, hopefully, it will pay off.

But don’t be thinking I have dived right in without having considered these steps already. I have written a 500 word description on each character, I just want to visualise these more. I have also re visited the town in which the novel is set, and taken photos. The crime itself is quite easy, my research is just to make sure I have no errors – nothing could be more fatal than glaring errors in your chosen crime.

So that is where I am at with my WIP. How about you?

8 Responses to “Sharing my WIP – my timeline”

  1. submeg November 6, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Sticky notes with bump is an app which is in the apps store –

    • Ellie November 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

      Ooh I like that! Downloading now!

  2. submeg October 31, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    A question non WIP related; how do find writing notes on the iPad? Do you use a stylus, or do you type them in to the notes app? Do you have an external keyboard?

    • Ellie October 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

      I use that nasty litlle touchscreen keyboard (I dont do technical terms lol!). I actually find the writing frustrating, however, the ability to flip the notes, and the layout is absolutely fantastic that it more than makes up for the awkward typing.

      • submeg November 2, 2011 at 6:15 am #

        Oh yep! I think it’s very nasty to type on also! Do you use sticky notes on your iPad?

      • Ellie November 4, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

        To be honest I am quite lazy on the ipad – where would i find sticky notes? I just use the main notes section. (I really am not very technical lol!)

  3. Laney July 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    First, Nice new blog title;)

    Yay to your forward motion on the novel! Glad to hear you are feeling good about it and have your plans setting up. This is when I itch to know what it’s about. I think the hardest part for me, always writing about writing, is not being able to talk about my actual story.

    You know where I am with mine;)

    • Ellie July 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

      Yeah I changed the name but wasn’t 100% sure about it. May still fiddle around with everything but I have so many plans I just have to start implementing.

      The plans for the novel are definitely taking shape and I have had some further ideas for encouragement. I shall be posting some ideas shortly. As it is for everyone though, I shall be asking for input.

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