Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Write like a Closet

I have a cat????
This is my junk closet. It was once used for storing fun items (board games, CDs), but over the last two years it has been filled with every miscellaneous thing that entered my apartment, so that I could maintain the outward appearance of a clean and organized home. When company visits, everything that doesn't have a home gets tossed in here.

My writing is like this closet:
I never show it to anyone (except maybe you someday, lucky reader… don’t judge).
Every time I open it, I find something cool (and then immediately lose it again).
I can never find a place for everything I want to fit in there (maybe because it all shouldn’t be in there).
It’s a little embarrassing (yes, I still own Dream Phone).

I am probably not normal in thinking this, but the hardest part of writing for me is all the words. It’s not finding the time to write or thinking of ideas. It’s that I can’t keep track of what the heck is happening in my book. I think the issue is my “method” (I am using the term very loosely).

I see things in bits and pieces. I write scenes out of order. And then when I try to piece them together I can’t figure out when each should happen. I get lost and overwhelmed. After two years of hard labor with my WIP, I’ve hit 100,000 words (yay). I know I’ve got everything in here, but I have to find it and figure out where it goes.
I want to print the whole thing and lay it out so I can look at it. I feel like if I could just look at it, feel it, and move it around, I could find the order. But, despite the fact that I have three printers, not one of them actually print.

What about you all out there in the interwebs? Do you have a technique for keeping things in order (or putting them in order after you’ve let them go wildly out of control)?

Bonus Fun!
Can you find:
a microwave box?
an origami ball?
Apples to Apples?
a fishbowl?
a Christmas present I forgot to mail last year?
an SNL Holiday Special VHS tape (where in the world did that come from)?


  1. I love the analogy of a messy closet. That's exactly how my first drafts are. One thing that's worked for me is Scrivener for Mac. It allows me to import multiple text files into one binder-like file. I can also scan my post-its and flow charts and import them, as well as any images, audio files, etc. Then all I have to do is label the files and drag-and-drop them in order. SO much easier than trying to keep up with everything the old way!

  2. Apples to Apples is like my favorite game of all time. I can always make it dirty and I love that : )

  3. Thanks for the comments! I think I'm convinced to try some software. It is surprisingly hard to find writing software for PCs. I went to three stores today, and not small ones either. I hit Best Buy, Target, and Office Max with no luck! Not even one package to choose from. I should've looked online first. Maybe I'll have some time this weekend to look into it.

  4. Emily, I'm super jealous of your Apples to Apples skills! My choices are definitely hit or miss (in that 50% of the time people don't understand why my card was played... at least it's anonymous if you don't get picked, so I never have to own up to my bad choices).

  5. I'm easy to spot once you grasp my strategy... sarcasm of sexual innuendo FTW. This, however, makes me a big A to A loser. I have fun while I play though!