Plot Devices

For some reason, I can’t keep track of my plot without something physical to look at. Normally, it’s sticky notes, but since I moved out of our town house, where my attic office had a slanty ceiling, that doesn’t work too well. The walls here are textured.

I tried index cards, but that seemed kind of work-intensive, and reminded me too much of writing term papers in high school. That’s definitely not the mood you want to conjure up when you’re writing a romance novel.

Scrape said I should use the computer to outline my novels instead. So I did!

I typed up my scenes, printed them out, cut them into pieces and taped them to the window.

I realize that’s not quite what he had in mind, but I’ve tried several different brands of novel-writing software, and while I can see their appeal, I’m just too much of a stick-in-the-mud to change my cut-and-paste ways.

This is as high-tech as I’m going to get.

So here’s what my little writing nook looks like right now, with sheets of paper taped over the beautiful view.

I took this on a lovely moonlit night. Of course, I couldn’t see its loveliness past my latest work-in-progress, which is currently titled How to Strangle a Cowboy. (My treatment of my titular cowboy varies depending on how the book’s going. Generally, he gets tortured one way or another until the book is in my editor’s hands. Then she gives it a nice title!)

I guess if I want to look out over Stillwater, with its swift-running creek and tall, tall pines, I’d better get to work. Because those papers aren’t coming down until the first draft is done, done, done.