Rewrites and Scenelists

I have officially embarked on the second (third?  maybe even parts of it fourth…) draft of The Priestess, the Protector.  It may become Healing Mirian in title, but I am not committed yet.

Anyway, I am thinking hard about jumping in to full organizational mode with the creation of scene lists and whatnot.  I spent part of my writing time yesterday building a database.  The goal of said database will be to allow me to enter each scene and get information back about it.  As best I can tell, I need to have a scene name,  location, links to each character that appears, along with some reference to where they are at in their character development (that is another database).  I am forcing myself to include a sentence or two to explain how this scene contributes to the progression of the plot, and then a short synopsis of what happens in the scene.

I know it isn’t just me.  Botanist is starting a series on writing tools on his blog as well.

So, faithful readers?  (Both of you!)  What do you use to keep track of your stories?  Do you plan before or after you write?

If anyone is interested, I will try to find a way to export my database structure once I get it usable.




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4 responses to “Rewrites and Scenelists

  1. Wow! I am blown away by your organization! I just write a tiny summary for each chapter in my little notebook. I planned out my first novel in a bit more detail in my head, but with my current WIP, I just asked my MC what happened next.

    • That’s awesome. I think Mirian is still mad at me. I have started printing out the story in single scenes so that I can focus on just that. It sounds like I am doing a lot, but so far I have done exactly one scene. I guess I will report back on how that works. I like the focus that it gives me though. Mirian, in the temple, with the sacrificial knife. Woo!

  2. Wow indeed! In my case, to both of you. In my case, I usually get bright ideas for an already written scene, I go back, and add them up -> therefore I have the dreaded “writing around” syndrome – I really am trying to get rid of this one.
    When I edit – I use critters suggestions for what works and scrape and use readers suggestions for the rewrite of that scene.
    I never outline. The few times I did, I couldn’t go by it and it made my writing clunky. I write a lot in my head, so that could be the reason why – I do it almost every night before I go to sleep.
    So I practically just know where I’m going – my characters tell me how and I try to limit their big mouths and not have a million word book :p

    • Go with what works! My mind wanders too much. I have a 45 minute commute to and from work where most of the “design” part of the story happens. I have to write it down or it drifts away and I lose it. The only way I can keep track of all that is some sort of outline. I found Text Tree that helps a LOT. Very simple outlining tool.
      I may include it as a mention in my next post. My plan to print out each scene and do the word level edits individually seems to be working well.


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