In the interest of full disclosure, I feel like its an appropriate time to make a confession here. I have a sticky little secret. Ok, ok, the secret’s neither sticky nor little at all. The sticky part is actually a temporary adhesive that leaves behind no tacky residue. And physically, the secret is one that is blue and pink, and approximately 18″ x 18″ and 12″ x 12″ respectively.
You see, I’m a Post-it note junkie. Writing books is really just an excuse to literally paper my house in gigantic and slightly less gigantic Post-it notes. If I tried to rein in my addiction, 3M stocks might just plummet.
I’ve mentioned my notebooks before, which are my long-term idea storage solution. Post-it notes serve another purpose. For each book, I start by formulating a high-level outline of the main themes and work down from there into more specific parts–main events, character development, conflicts, etc. I use that high-level outline for the book as a checklist as I write each individual chapter to make sure I’m staying on track with timing of events and to ensure I don’t leave out any important details. For each chapter, I start with a fresh blue Post-it and outline what needs to be written in that specific chapter. Some portions of the outline will be skeleton-like summaries, while other times I’ll actually write out the exact dialogue or descriptions right on the Post-it.
Each chapter usually requires 1 blue Post-it or 2 pink Post-its. Which one I use depends on my mood or what color pen I grabbed. (They have to match. Deep, I know.) It may seem like a lot of steps, but this structured approach is what works best for me. (That and it means I get to use lots and lots of Post-it notes…muhahahahaha XD)