Welcome! Thanks for stopping by to catch up with my latest writing adventures.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

OneNote after another...

I spent almost all last weekend buried in the new Romans block of my course and it was totally worth it - I actually managed to get ahead of the schedule!  So as a result I've enjoyed another study-free day today and decided to spend time working on Project Crunch

Instead of writing the main story I've been doing some character profiling, building up the details behind my heroine to make her more real in my mind.  This is advised in many of the writing books, magazines and websites that I've read, so I figured that it must be worth a try!  I think that the better I am able to get to know her as a person, the easier it will be to make sure I write her consistently all the way through.  Not just in terms of hair colour, eye colour and details like that (though it has been handy to write all that down in one place!), but knowing what she feels about various things.  Is she a TV addict?  Does she want children?  What are her flaws?  Does she like her appearance?  And so on...all sorts of different factors which build up together to make a real personality and (hopefully) not flat and lifeless. 

Because she will go through some pretty big changes during the story, I'm conscious that I can't just have her flick from being one type of person with a certain set of values at the start to someone totally different at the end.  She will change (I know she will - I know how it ends!) but my challenge is to manage it carefully, pace it and make it realistic.  I'm actually looking forward to this - though she's not the most loveable at the start (nothing horrendous, just not your average bubbly ditzy chick lit heroine), the various plot points I've planned out will gradually turn her into someone that I hope readers will like and emphasise with.  I can't wait to see it unfolding before me! 

Just to explain why I titled this post the way I did...I want to advocate the wonder that is Microsoft OneNote.  I'd never heard of it before I got my laptop last year (perhaps it only comes with Office 2007?) and didn't really know what to do with it when I first opened it, but now I love it!  It's like a virtual filing system - within the programme you save separate 'Notebooks' (essentially a ring-binder - I have one for each of my writing projects).  Then within each Notebook there are tabs, which split the project into sections.  Within each tab are Pages into which you can type or paste anything you want.  And unlike MS Word there are no restrictions as to where you can type - you literally click anywhere on the page and just start typing.  There are also Sub-Pages in case your main Page covers a wide range of information. 

So, for example, I have a Notebook for Hitched.  Within it are two tabs labelled 'Planning' and 'States'.  Within 'Planning' are Pages titled 'Introduction', 'Legal Stuff' and 'General Travel' - there will be others as I progress with working on it.  Within 'States' are Pages titled...well...each US state name (yes, all 50!) and within each of those are Sub-Pages for 'Basic Info', 'Significant Landmarks' and things like that for each state. 

It's an incredibly easy and customisable way to organise a lot of information so that you're able to go straight to whatever you wish. I'm still experimenting and tweaking to find the best way of using it for my other projects, but if you have it I would definitely recommend that you check it out.

Thanks for reading - till next time!  

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