Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back Like a Cheesy Sequel, or Plotting with PowerPoint

So, it's been a while, but I'm back to a place where I want to blog.  Chalk it up to wanting accountability and/or a place to play with pictures.  Or, something like that.

Mostly, I've been simmering this idea about novel planning and I want to put it somewhere.  Okay, my friends, think on this: PPT can do everything, including helping you plot. 

Over the summer, I was listening to someone talk about planning a grant proposal.  She said she was such a verbal thinker, and she was so used to using PowerPoint to help her plan talks/lessons, that she made the leap to using PPT to help her outline proposals.  Bam!  It clicked in place in my head, because any time I'm preparing to do a presentation these days, PPT is where I start.  Sometimes, my friends, I think in PPT. 

Why not apply the same process to a novel?  Right now, I'm puttering around with a novel idea about a golem maker and I have some notes on key plot points.  The hard part about notes is that they're hard to move around.  When you decide that complication Y should come before plot twist X instead of after, etc. your page of notes becomes a page of notes and doodles.  One of the solutions to this is using index cards, but they're still so... permanent.  If you want to take plot point Z and chunk it into two parts, you still have to do a lot of re-noting.

PPT is like magic.  So easy to manipulate.  Plus, who doesn't like playing around with graphics?  Add hearts to the scene when the love interests confess their feelings for each other.  A dagger is a nice accent to the scene where the body is discovered.  For those of us who're visual thinkers, the ease of adding graphics is a definite bonus. 

I officially make it my mission to collect my novel notes and translate them all into PPT.  I'm also tentatively planning to do NaNo this year, so the two things are natural partners.

Do you have any brilliant novel planning tools?  What works well for you?


Jenny Maloney said...

I've also thought it's time to blog again. ;-)

Debbie said...

This is so weird, because I've been thinking about blogging again. Must be in the air.

As to plotting tools, I started with real index cards. Now I use the Scrivener virtual cards. But I don't think you can add graphics to the cards.