Monday, January 11, 2010


I hate outlines.

When I work on a first draft, I hastily scrawl something that could pass for an outline as I go. It's more of a "I can't forget to do this later" list.

When I progress to a second draft, I outline the first one and what happened and rearrange the events as needed.

But sometimes that's hard and not as clear cut as I'd like.

I received iWork version 9 for Christmas. I purchased the original version of this software when Mac Minis came out about five years ago. The Mac Mini has since died, but iWork keeps going strong. With my latest MacBook, I didn't want to sully it with any Microsoft products. Just a goal of mine. And since Pages, the Apple version of Word, imports and exports as Word docs and PDFs, there's no reason I can't use it. Plus we have Word on our old iBook, so I can check the formatting of the file before I send it off to anything official.

My hatred of Microsoft is fodder for another day.

iWork includes three elements: Pages (Word), Keynote (PowerPoint) and Numbers (Excel). My original version (1.0.2) did not have Numbers. So I decided to play with it, partially because I keep hearing how other writers plot in spreadsheets. I prefer random scraps of paper, but I lose those pieces of paper, so I thought a computer document might be good.

I started with a simple chart of the old manuscript:
Chapter -- Character -- Item done really well that I'd forgotten about -- How to use

On my second worksheet:
Chapter -- POV -- Summary

On my third worksheet for the current revisions:
Chapter -- POV -- Summary -- then tabs for each character and plot theme and what happens in those various items in the chapter as I get the revisions done

My four worksheet:
An exact replica of page 3 except this one is for chapters I haven't revised yet and what I want to put in them

I'll keep you posted how it works.

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