Jan 3, 2014

Beat Board Updated

Gearing up for my last weekend before I have to start teaching again, I thought I'd share the newest tool I've added to my Writer's Toolbox.

When I was in the midst of writing TRANSCEND, I learned several things. First, I'm not a pantser. It was a holy mess trying to figure out scene came next, who I needed to focus on, where the plot was moving and where it was stagnant.

Second, because I was already in the midst of it, I was stuck. That was when I learned about Blake Snyder,
Save the Cat, and immediately went to buy my cork board. I wrote about my experience here, but this was what I ended up with.

This time around, I started doing the same thing, but found that between all my kids stuff and the fact that I really don't have a room where I can put a board and have it not be disturbed, the plotting wasn't going well. About that time I got an iPad (LOVE!) and started looking at apps. And I found it, the perfect app for creating a virtual beat board. It's called Index Card - I think it is under $5.00. This is what the current beat board looks like.

I love this because I can take it with me to cello lessons, violin/viola lessons, soccer games, whatever, and plot as the ideas hit. Also, it has the drag and drop to make moving the cards super easy. As before, I like to color code each character so I can see their individual arc within the context of the story, see where they fade away for too long, or where they are too dominant (see all those purples? They are driving me crazy).

The reason this works for me is I have my dots - like in dot to dot picture - that give me a bit of structure, but isn't so detailed that I feel like I'm cheating my previous work if  new idea hits. This is also great because I can set my iPad by me while I'm working, allowing for a quick glance at the next idea instead of having to switch screens on my laptop.

Hope you have a great and productive first weekend of 2014! If you have any writer tips, with or without technology, I'd love to hear from you.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll have to download that app.
Snyder's fifteen beats are so helpful.

Jessie Humphries said...

That looks incredibly organized! Geesh, I am so impressed!

Suzie F. said...

Oh! The plotter in my LOVES that idea. I don't have an iPad but I wonder if it's available for the Kindle. Thanks for the tip!

Nicole said...

That looks pretty awesome! I'm not a beat boarder, but I can see where the iPad approach would give you a huge advantage.

Julie Luek said...

I'm impressed too and it makes me get all lusty to own an iPad! Happy New Year!