I just got off the phone with my friend Kat (who, alas, doesn’t have a blog); she’s taking a writing class at the UW extension, which she’s really enjoying, and she shared this technique for writing, or rather for organizing writing.
first, you break your piece (novella or novel) into scenes. then you create a spreadsheet or a database, and make an entry for each scene. in each entry, you include a number to identify the scene, the major action of the scene, the characters, the place the scene occupies in the character arc, and a link to the file with the scene. (I think that’s everything…except a few concepts specific to the course (when it was critiqued, some other concepts).)
I like it. I wrote a while back about the problem of changing the flow of a piece of writing after having a bright idea. I think this would help, in the same way that breaking apart a script into functions helps in reworking it. (actually, as she began describing this technique, I thought…oh, modularizing your story!)
I’m gonna try it with a bit of fantasy fluff that I’ve been trying to finish since just before Christmas, and see how it goes….