DIY Tricks for Writers

My blog post, 5 Pet Tricks with Spreadsheets, suggests some tricks for project tracking for tech-comms professionals. For balance, here are some pet tricks for fiction writers:

“Author as Publisher” Task Lists

Author as Publisher: Planning Tasks [MS Word]
Author as Publisher: Market Planning Tasks [MS Word]

Book Scheme in a Spreadsheet
dramatic arc

Whether part of an initial plan or in the middle of an attempt to untangle spaghetti 2/3s through the draft, you can you a spreadsheet to map the plot points, action, character development, time scale, and so on.

Here’s an example of how I analyzed plot and pacing problems during an early draft of Artemis in the Desert (if you haven’t read the book, this example doesn’t contain spoilers). The top row maps chapters against traditional beat sheet goals for plot and pacing. Continue reading

Back to the 1992 Future

I wrote the Windows 3.1 Resource Kit using my own WYSIWYG Word template, being the first to deliver Msft Press a camera-ready manuscript using only Msft tools. Then I became one of the first adopters of the infamous Msft MAE templates. Until I began creating Web pages—and even after—I did most of my writing in ready-for-print Word files.

Continue reading