Friday, July 31, 2009

Spreadsheet is a Success!

Tip of the day: For a chance to win a number of YA novels (in ARC form) which I brought home from ALA, please go to my personal blog and read about a Reader Appreciation Contest I’m having. You get one entry simply for following me at twitter, and there are other ways to get entries as well. Details can be found here: But hurry, the deadline is tomorrow, August 1st, at midnight EST!

So, last week I said I was going to try the spreadsheet for tracking my WIP and report on how I’m liking it.

Guess what!? I love it!

Right now it only has basic information – word count of each chapter, who is in each chapter, what day of the week the chapter falls on, whether the chapter is action-oriented, dialogue-oriented, etc. But once I finish my first draft, I plan to go back and add columns so I can see some things I’m curious about. Like I think I’ll add a column for smells and maybe one for sounds. How many times in each chapter do I talk about a smell or a sound? If none, maybe I better see if I can add something, to make the chapter richer in sensory details.

I use spreadsheets every day at my day job. I can’t believe I never thought of how a spreadsheet could help me with my writing!

Since I wrote you last, I’ve written two chapters, and just like I thought, it’s very satisfying to click over to the spreadsheet when I’ve finished a chapter and add it to the sheet.

This novel I’m working on is something very new for me. I think it’s a bit of an urban fantasy, but there is lots of mystery to it. I’m having a ton of fun writing it! Who knows if it will sell, but sometimes I think we just have to write something because we really want to. And sometimes, those books end up being the best anyway, because there is no pressure. Just writing for the fun of it – which is what it should be like all the time, I know, but sometimes, it isn’t.

I hope to get some more writing while I’m on vacation next week, before I take off for the SCBWI conference in LA. If you are there and see me, I hope you’ll stop and say hi!

~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career


Anonymous said...

That's actually a cool idea. I think I might try it when I start my next draft since my first drafts always make little sense to anyone but myself. :)

Weronika Janczuk said...

A spreadsheet would require me to be organized, so it actually comes down to hundreds of index cards, pages from two and a half notebooks, and a sorry attempt at an outline on blank printer paper.

I wish you the best of luck -- I'm sure it'll help, but you will have more patience than me.

Kate Fall said...

The nice thing about a spreadsheet is, if you discover in chapter 10 that one of your characters has a brother or something significant like that you need to add to chapter 2, you can put "add brother" in your chapter 2 column for revision time.