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Tip Tuesday #65

I hope you had a fabulous holiday! I sure did, but it was a lazy week as far as writing goes. I have another Tuesday Tip from Lisa Nowak today. Please visit her blog, The Tao of Webfoot, when you're ready to leave!

Outlining by Subplot

If you're the outlining type, you might find that even if you can come up with ideas, it's difficult to figure out how to organize them. One thing that helps me is organizing by subplot. I give each one a name and move all the plot points for that subplot under that heading. I then resize my margins and make the document into two columns. After printing, I cut apart the individual ideas and glue them onto 3 x 5 cards. I use a different color for each subplot. Now I can spread them out on a table and see everything at once. It takes time to figure out where things should ultimately wind up, but it's easier to do this process with cards than by dragging and dropping bits of text on the computer. And with the different-colored cards it's very clear where you've neglected a subplot or concentrated on it too much. Once you've got your cards organized be sure to number them in case they get mixed up. You can now use them to order your plot points in your original document.

To see my whole outlining process step-by-step, you can visit the outlining page on my blog.

Love this tip, Lisa!! Very timely. I've been playing around with outlining this month and am always looking for new methods to try.


Beth said...

Lisa has the greatest tips! I love this low-tech idea. Even though I do most of my writing on the computer, I'm often drawing to paper and pencil solutions. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Great ideas! This could organize me a little. I usually just have random thoughts in a notebook. Thanks

NiaRaie said...

I outline by subplots! The exclamation point is because I thought no one else did this, for some reason. :)

Ishta Mercurio said...

Color-coding subplots is a GREAT idea! Thanks for this tip!

Lisa Nowak said...

Thanks for posting my tip, Casey. :)
NiaRaie, it's good to meet someone else who outlines by subplots!