Monday, March 4, 2013

Checklist

I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about what my students think makes a great book. If you check it out, you'll see it ends up looking like a checklist for writers.

So, I started thinking about checklists. I'm not a list person - but everyone else in my family is. Every last one of them. They do think I'm a bit of a nut.

Do you use lists or checklists in your writing?

As part of my ongoing attempt to plot/outline/organize my writing, I've created a chart to make sure my scenes on track. My chart headings are: chapter & scene #, pov character, setting/main event, internal conflict & external conflict.

I don't know if it's helping me write at all, but it does give me more confidence after the fact that I'm still on track - and it's helping me tweak the scenes with that focus in mind. At least I think it is... :)

Are you a list person? Wht kinds of checklists do you use?

41 comments:

  1. I love a good list. I definitely use lists when I write--I have lists of historical facts to incorporate, setting details I want to use, and other random lists along the way. There's something fun about crossing stuff off along the way--it makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something!

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  2. Gosh am a total panster and don't even make shopping lists - I just go in the shop and take what I fancy only to return home and realise I forgot the essentials! Terrible!

    Take care
    x

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  3. I just outline the key plot points. I do write out a short outline of each chapter as I go. It helps if I have to move them around or delete them later.

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  4. Yes! I'm a complete list person. I'd never get anything done if I didn't have lists! :)

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  5. Stephanie - I never thought of using lists for setting and details before - good idea!

    Old Kitty - I'm exactly the same way!!

    Natalie - I'm learning to do that now - I'm hoping it gets easier!

    Laura - that sounds exactly like my hubby! :)

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  6. Oooh yes, I'm definitely a list person! Heading on over to your guest post. :)

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  7. I make an outline but never a checklist for my writing.

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  8. I make checklists for my husband but not for my writing! But, yes, everyone in my family thinks I'm a bit of a nut. Guess it goes with the territory. I will check out what your students say. The adolescent mind is a treasure trove.

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  9. I'm a great do-list person but I'm thinking of going with a chart or a storyboard for my next story. Trying to get away from linear thinking and get a broader view.

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  10. Hey Jemi,

    I've got checklists for my checklists. I've got checklists to remind me about my other checklists that when I go to check, I've found I've misplaced the checklist I went to go check in regards to another checklist. Ignore, me. Must go and make another checklist. Just hope I can remember where I put the other one....

    Gary :)

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  11. I have an embarrassing number of lists! But they do help keep me straight. :)

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  12. I create character trait lists. That's about it.

    You sound way more organized than me!

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  13. Laura - I wish a was a list person!

    Alex - I think a checklist would be easier for my brain!

    Yvonne - it is! People are so often by how intuitive kids are when they take the time to speak with them! :)

    Linda - we should team up! I need to find a way to be more linear :)

    Gary - that's EXACTLY what would happen to me if I made checklists! I'd never find them and then that vicious cycle would begin :)

    Elizabeth - I probably should ... but I'd probably lose them :)

    Theresa - I'm trying .. but it's killing my brain!!

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  14. Funnily enough, I am a list person - in fact I 'love' list! But, not when I'm writing. Go figure!

    I should really work on that!

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  15. I make lists for everything but my writing. Is that strange?

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  16. Wendy - that's funny! I would assume a list person is a list person!

    Susan - you and Wendy both! I wonder why it works that way??? :)

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  17. Good for you! I LOVE my checklists. I'm lost without them.

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  18. Christina - thanks! I'm learning! :)

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  19. Not really a list person, but where I'm lacking...my wife makes up for it! :)

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  20. DL - that's like me and my hubby - he's very good with a list!!! :)

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  21. I am a big list person, husband is not. But I don't use lists when I write. I use them in preparation, and somewhat in editing, but not during the writing process.

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  22. Carol - I've never used them at all - and trying to use them in this rewrite is a little part awesome and a little part nightmare!

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  23. I love lists and make them all the time. I find they help keep me organized in all areas of my life. In writing lists help me because once things are organized I can let the ideas brew. :)
    ~Jess

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  24. Jess - I wish my brain worked that way! My current MC is a total list nut - she loves them! :)

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  25. I'll check out the link.

    I'm a list-maker. I cross things off my lists everyday, for writing, the day job, and personal stuff.

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  26. Lists! Now you're talking my kind of language. I spend so long creating spreadsheets of my book plans that I'm afraid it tips over to procrastination far too often... but it makes me happy.

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  27. Medeia - that sounds exactly like the rest of my family! Lists really work for them :)

    Rosalind - as long as it makes you happy! I'm starting to make these and I'm kind of afraid it's killing my creativity! We'll see :)

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  28. I am trying to be a list-person!

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  29. I use lists in my real life, but never thought to use them for writing. What a fabulous, organized idea! Thanks, Jemi!

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  30. Agnes - me too - although it's not working very well!

    Kelly - any time! Although I did steal the idea from several people and then twisted it to my own style...sort of :)

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  31. Hi Jemi,

    Off to read your post. I attended a workshop in Brisbane last Wednesday titled Painless Plotting, Denise L'Aussie highlighted main points on her Blog.

    Nas

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  32. Nas - oh! Denise always has great stuff! Thanks for the tips :)

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  33. I'm not a listmaker at all - although my husband is, and does a superb enough job of it that I'm always just adding stuff to HIS list (it works for me!). But I'm working on a murder mystery right now, and I'm finding the list to be a very good tool to make sure I don't miss any possible lines of investigation that the police should be looking into. I've read a few mysteries where I'm like "but what about x, y and z? Why aren't you checking those out?" and I don't want to run into the same problem in my WIP.

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  34. Belle - you're brave! I love mysteries - I think I read every Agatha Christie book as a kid, but the plotting required is hard! Definitely not the way my brain naturally works. Good luck with it!! :)

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  35. I admire anyone who can do that Jemi. I'm not great at that myself, but anything that helps an individual, well, I wouldn't knock it.

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  36. I'm a list lady. I love lists! I have lists for lists. :)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  37. Maria - me either - although I'm not sure if this is helping me or simply making me feel inadequate... :)

    Nutschell - Love it! I think you and my hubby could be great friends! :)

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  38. I love checklists. I don't use them much with the writing part of my life, but I do when it comes to organizing my taxes, creating covers, book layout, laundry, etc. It makes you feel like you are accomplishing something. :)

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  39. Julie - that's what my sister always says! She loves her lists :)

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  40. I don't really use lists, but I make copious notes for myself throughout my draft. Actually, lists would be way more organized!

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  41. Beth - they really would be! Just need to figure out how to do that :)

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