I have a book due April 15th that is squarely in the legal, romantic suspense genre. As I’m racing to finish the book, we’re squarely in the middle of titling the book and series. I wrote 75K words for this book before January, and then paused to write another book, and have been back at this one since around February 15th.
In many ways that pause was a great help. It let me gain distance from the book and back up to think about structure and story issues. But now I’m racing to deadline, and working to increase the suspense and get all the pacing and details nailed down. One of my authorly quirks is that I like to keep my chapters approximately the same length, and I like to see the word count grow. Here’s a quick snapshot of my word count spreadsheet. In this one I also track the day that each chapter occurs.
Because this is the first book in a series, I’ve also created a spreadsheet to track character names and basic details. On one of my next sweeps through the book, I may add physical details. It takes a little bit of time now to build this as I edit, but if this turns into a 4+ book series, it will be very helpful to me in the long term to make sure I keep names different and the details about returning characters consistent. I guess you could say a minute used now could save hours later.
I need to build a spreadsheet with a list of places that I use and their descriptions. Because the book is set in Old Town Alexandria, many of the places are real. You could walk down King Street and eat at Il Porto. I’ve created a Pinterest board to help track the locations, especially the heroine’s home. I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t pin the picture, when a home goes off the market, I can no longer see the photos.
These photos help me stay consistent in what the different homes look like as well as save me time from researching what the inside of a restaurant looks like.
These are a few of the tools I use as I’m writing to stay on top of my writing and word count. Here’s one last shot of my writing buddy many nights. He likes to be in the middle of everything. If you’re a writer do you use spreadsheets and Pinterest? What tools do you use to stay organized? And as readers, I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at my zaniness!