Today I felt really creative. I´ve been working so hard with one of the chapters in my book – it was all just a big mess! So I read it all through, and then I wrote down a description of every paragraph in that chapter on a piece of paper. The descriptions of each paragraph in that chapter was written with one sentence only. For example:
“Greg thinks of his childhood”
“Greg speaks to his psychologist”
That would describe two full paragraphs. It is enough for me to know what the full paragraph is about. Then I took a pair of scissors and cut it all into pieces, sentence by sentence. Now I had all that messy chapter´s paragraphs lined up in front of me at small pieces of paper. Short and neat, a few sentences only, describing it all. I placed them all at the table. That allow me to move around the paragraphs as I wanted to (trial and error), without messing it up in my file at the computer. I moved them around until I could see the logic I had lost in that messy file. Then I took a piece of tape and attached them on that table in the order I want to have them in my book. It gives me a clear picture of how I want to structure that messy chapter, and allows me to keep on working in a good phase, secure that I´m heading the right way. Cut and paste – it works great!
Discussion: What is your trick to get order in your stories? Do you belong to those lucky authors who just write it down perfectly at the very first time, or do you have to work to get where you want? What is your experience of “cutting and pasting”? Do you have a better idea, please share it and let everybody know.