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Plotting Crash Course, Day Four: Cheat Sheets and a Break

by Kellyn Roth |
October 28, 2016


Well, we’ve only got a couple more days until NaNoWriMo starts. I’ve been doing a lot of work to get myself prepared – such as spending all afternoon and evening yesterday reading a random book which has nothing to do with NaNo Prep.
Yep. Subtle sarcasm …
Seriously, though, folks. Lately I’ve been working a lot on my cheat sheet. What is my cheat sheet, you may have asked (and if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you anyway)?


(Sorry for poor-quality photos! I’m in a hurry!)

Basically, it’s a great big piece of paper covers with what I like to call At Her Fingertips At A Glance (which … I just came up with and am now liking!).
Basically, on one side runs my outline, most of the scenes summed up like so:


So yep. Unless you’re me, you probably have no idea what’s going on. For instance, ‘bird’s nest.’ There are no birds in this scene! WHY IS IT CALLED BIRD’S NEST?!?!? Then I remembered it was a reference to Much Ado About Nothing. If you get that, please comment! I need to know culture still exists in this world …
Juuuuust kidding!
As I remembered a couple scenes, I had to add notes in about them like so:


Scattered about are also things I need to remember like the once sentence summary, quick notes on theme and other important stuff, etc.
I also made sure to include what goes where. For instance, I labeled the inciting incident, midpoint, and all other points of interest. πŸ™‚


This cheat sheet gives me everything I know, and if I don’t know what I was talking about, I can refer back to my more complex outline/other notes in my notebooks.


Why is my biggest failing as a writer the most novicey thing ever?

Now, I’ve explained about my cheat sheet. Time to move on to the other thing I mentioned in the title. A break. Believe it or not, after forever and a day of prep, you need a break before NaNoWriMo.

I’m not saying it’s necessary, but yep. I’m gone over the weekend. Technically I would have been gone with or without NaNo, but this is a great opportunity for me to stop thinking about At Her Fingertips. Well, at least stop thinking about it in a businesslike OHMYGOSHNANO way. πŸ˜‰

And … that’s all I have to say.

~Kellyn Roth

What do you think of my thoughts?

19 Responses

  1. That’s cool! I personally can’t work with strict outlines and things like that, but I do like to keep a basic outline to prevent writer’s block.

  2. Hold on… did you say a break?!?! *whispers* she said a break right!!! Hehe a break it is.
    I love that! “At her fingertips at a glance” that sounds amazing!

  3. OOH! OOH! OOH! OOH! *jumps up and down waving hand in the air* I READ MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING! With you … I guess. But … hang out … I don’t actually … get that reference… Hmmm …
    Aw man, Kell! Looking at this makes me feel like such a failure … XD I need to do more prep … *thinks about prepping* *goes off and eats cookies* *watches Gilmore Girls* *continues thinking about going and prepping* *watches Doctor Who instead* *thinks more about prepping* *goes and reads a book* Yep …

      1. Oh hang on … *thinks* I have nooo idea. I’m probably mixing up A Comedy of Errors and Hamlet … hmmmm … AH! I REMEMBER NOW! I read Much Ado About Nothing in comic book format in … the same year as we read A Comedy of Errors. *snods* Yep.
        Ha well that was a comedy of my error and much ado about nothing.
        #lamepuns #wasthatevenapun? #seriouslygirl #thatwasjustlame #what…iswrongwithyou #what’supwiththehashtags? #pleasestop #you’reembarrasingyourself #waytoohyper #immastopnow

        1. #awesomesauce (what? You were being random … and I laughed, although maybe I was pity-laughing. Do you pity-laugh when no one’s around? I … might. It’s hard to tell … πŸ˜‰
          Seriously, though, it’s a quote from Much Ado About Nothing where the … witty guy (I’m sure he has a name … Bennedict, maybe?) is talking and his friend’s girlfriend got stolen (or so they think) and he’s like, “It’s like when a little boy brings his bird’s nest to show his friend and his friend steals the bird’s nest,” and yep. XD

          1. Pfft. I don’t need no pity laughs, dahling. *flicks hair over shoulder*
            Ooh, heyyyy! I don’t remember that at all! *grins* I … am a failure … XD I did read the comic book form, I’m pretty sure … I just don’t remember a single thing from it …

  4. Ooey…if only I could decipher your notes….I can probably spend all day doing that….
    Seriously?????????? Nano is next WEEK?????? *SCREAMS*
    #hasn’tplanned #hasn’tdonecharacterdevelopment

  5. Agh! Love this! I have something similar… Like an outline, but movie style? I call it my “Scene Selection.” πŸ™‚ (I take a rather movieish approach to writing, I’m afraid.)
    Anyway, mine tends to be a little neater, because as soon as oine gets sloppy and covered in notes and doodlings, I rewrite THE WHOLE THANG. πŸ™‚ #perfectionistprobs

  6. *guilty looks at the absence of plotting in novel* *wait how can you look at something that isn’t there* *yikes* *puts it on to do list* *will get done in May* πŸ˜‰

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