I shall keep this post nice and short today in honor of the first day of NaNoWriMo so we can all get back to writing fast.
You can grab your copy of the story-progress-worksheet right back there. Again this worksheet isn’t really for planning, but for post-writing. It’s a place to jot down important developments, ideas, or just notes of what you’ve already written.
I keep mine right next to my computer at writing time. While it isn’t necessarily too difficult to go back through what I’ve written to find a name or “check” something when writing a later scene that needs previous scene information, I find once I start looking back, I keep looking back and eventually, I’m not moving forward.
But when I only allow myself to use these worksheets to flip through to find that information, I’m not seeing exactly what I wrote, I’m only seeing the important parts, or at least enough information about it to be able to continue to move forward. Which is kind of the important part. We have to move forward in order to finish.
Print a few out to start, see if they help. Occasionally I can use one worksheet for a couple different writing sessions, it really depends on how much I wrote and the content of what I wrote.
The worksheet is pretty basic, but the goal is for information collection. There is a place to write in the date and the title or working title. A chart to notate the chapter, scene, or section identifier and a summary box. You’ll notice there isn’t a whole lot of room here. The point is to keep it short and concise. The purpose is to be able to find the information you need quickly.
Next you’ll see lined sections for character and setting developments, followed by a box for things to keep in mind for the future. These things may be ideas, dialogue that came to you when it wasn’t needed, or whatever really. The last item on the page is a larger box for sketching. I’ve used it for more notes before, but it’s also a great place to sketch out maps, settings, and I’ve even used it for figuring out travel times.
It is a Word document. Feel free to modify it to your needs. And if you haven’t grabbed it yet, you can get your free NaNoWriMo word count calendar here. nanowrimo-word-count-calendar