Happy Spring, everyone!
Don't you just love the bluebonnets? They are one of my favorite spring flowers. I took that photo five or six years ago. We don't see many of them here in West Texas, but they really are a colorful sign of warmer weather.
I'm so sorry for my absence lately. It's been a really rough week and a half. My family and I were out of town right after the CIR sale and then I ended up sick. My husband says it was the sickest he's ever seen me since we've been married. Between the coughing, headaches, and fatigue, it was a blur.
I'm just finally feeling better this week and now having to get caught up on just about everything. But I'm so very thankful that I have the energy to be able to do that.
I just wanted to touch base with you all and let you know that I'm still here. I'll be posting regularly again.
Clean Indie Reads is hosting an amazing sale this week and you're not going to want to miss it! Click here to see who all is participating.
Do you like entering for a chance to win a fantastic prize? Then you're not going to want to miss this! What is it, you ask? More than 40 digital books. Now that's definitely worth signing up for! To make sure you get your name in, click to go to the "Year of Reading" Entry Form. A copy of my book, Finding Peace, is one of the many eBooks that you could win.
March Madness Sale
This is an amazing sale that many of the members from Clean Indie Reads have worked hard to put together. There are a large number of books that are on sale this week. If you're looking for something to read and you enjoy a clean book without sex, excessive violence, or cursing, check out our sale. You'll find books in categories ranging from Kids books to Science Fiction, from Mystery to Romance. There's truly something for everyone. Go have a look at the books and remember, the sale officially begins March 16th.
Both of my books are included in this sale and you'll be able to pick them up for $0.99 starting March 16th through March 20th.
Blog Hop Fun
My blog is only one of many who are participating in the CIR March Madness fun. Below you'll find a list of the others who are involved. Check out their blogs and you may find some other contests you can enter!
I've been struggling with an issue that I think a lot of authors face. I've been trying different ways to keep book ideas organized and in a way that's easy to access as I'm writing. It's definitely been an ongoing learning process.
With Calming the Storm, I wrote away in a Word document. It wasn't until the editing process that I wished I had the outline laid out somewhere. I ended up jotting notes on notebook paper to try and keep changes in order as I went.
This experience led to creating a notebook when it came to starting work on Finding Peace. I have a page for each character, a page with the timeline, another with the chapter outlines, etc. It definitely made things much easier. The problem? It's a big notebook and not easy to carry around with me. When I'm home, I didn't always had the space to lay the notebook open and I certainly didn't take it with me if I wrote somewhere else.
Other Options I Considered:
I heard about Scrivener and strongly considered moving to it. I got the trial and it was way more than I really wanted for my writing process. Don't get me wrong, this is an amazing program and I know many authors sing its praises.
Personally, I like Word and I'm comfortable with Word. Yes, the ability to store websites offline, write about each character, and keep everything in one program is wonderful. But I found it to be a little much for myself.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a blog post about using Excel to keep track of things like timelines, chapter outlines, etc. I thought that was a great idea and it seemed much simpler than Scrivener. I mentioned to my husband that I might even do my character sheets in Excel since I could have a tab for each one.
That's when my husband suggested OneNote. I've used it for grocery lists and things like that, but never would have considered it as a way to keep track of everything in my books. When he told me that I could import an Excel sheet and even edit it within OneNote, I was sold.
Let me tell you, this has been working wonderfully! I save my OneNote over to my OneDrive and I can access my book notes from my computer, tablet, or my phone. It opens quickly, it's easy to go through, and it's made the job of keeping everything organized so much easier.
Meet OneNote - An Author's Friend:
In OneNote, you have the ability to create notebooks. With each notebook, you can add tabs - or sections. You then have the option of adding pages under each of those tabs.
I created a Love's Compass notebook so I could keep track of all the details associated with the series I'm currently working on. Within that notebook, I created tabs titled Series Overview, Town Information, Character Names Used, Character Pages, Finding Peace, Finding Hope, and Finding Faith. And I can add any other tabs I need at any time.
Having a tab for Character Pages was a huge help. I could then include a page for each of my characters. As these character grow with each book, I add additional information.
You can see some of the details I included on Tucks' page below. Note the list of pages on the right hand side. I can easily switch between characters.
You can also insert photos. If you're the type of author who likes to find photos of actors or actresses that remind you of your character, you can do that here as well.
I have a tab for each book. At this point, I keep the book synopsis and the timeline here.
For the timeline, I went into Excel and created a spreadsheet - you can see part of the timeline for Finding Peace below. Warning: It may contain mild spoilers if you haven't read the book yet!
I was then able to import this into OneNote as a table that could be edited. Now I have a great spreadsheet with all the information I need and I can add information as needed.
This is a very powerful tool. OneNote can be used on almost any platform and it's completely free. I've been incredibly happy with this program. It has made keeping track of details in my books so much easier!
If you already use OneNote as a tool in your writing or if you decide to give it a try, please let me know what you think. How do you keep your plots and characters in order?
Thank you for reading!