Getting Organized

After yesterday’s post I went out and took a walk.  I spent about an hour, walked almost three miles, and probably looked crazy because I was talking to myself the whole time.  (Fortunately I had the trails to myself.)  The effort helped get a lot of the remainder of Unexpected at least sketched out.  Now I know what I need to write and what questions I still need to answer.

When I got back I took all the disparate puzzle pieces I had come up with and put each of them on an index card.  I still need to figure out the best way to weave in the subplots as they continue, so they are outlined on separate cards from the primary plot.  Then I taped them to the wall.  There is currently a chart of brightly colored cards with Jeopardy-style headers hanging on my kitchen wall, ready to help me out as I keep writing.

Once that was done, I wrote the next scene in the tale (which ended up being nearly 2000 words) and then went back and looked at the “Questions” column.  In the process of writing the scene, I figured out a couple more details that answered one of the questions and generated another.  I have a feeling that column won’t be going away any time soon.

This isn’t how I normally organize for a novel, but it seemed appropriate in this case.  How do you usually keep track of your planning and upcoming scenes?