In the little time after I returned from my conference, I worked to plan my novel. I wanted to be a planner, but in November I would mostly be writing by the seat of my pants. I knew I had valuable information but I had no road map. I did what I could in the time I had.
The first thing I did was scan all the materials I collected. The originals were old and precious and I didn’t want to damage any of them. Some were already in bad shape and there were a few pages from the log that were folded, partially mutilated, and unreadable. I saved them, but I didn’t try to unfold them for fear I would damage them further. Scanning also made it easy to share what I had with my siblings, my father’s other children.
I printed out everything I had scanned. I could have stored it all in Scrivener, but I wasn’t familiar enough with the program then to feel comfortable doing that. Now I realize it would have been really helpful to have everything in one place.
After that, I created a timeline. It was the beginning of my rough plan. At first, I used Excel to make the timeline. I’ve since discovered a program called Aeon Timeline and expanded my timeline there. (Maybe I’ll discuss Aeon Timeline in another post.)
My timeline gave me enough information to create the project in Scrivener. I used those events to make a list of scenes I planned. I knew that as I wrote, I could easily add new scenes that would be necessary to develop the plot.
This was the extent of the planning I was able to do before November 1.
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