Controlling Your Writing

I approach my writing as a group of projects. I have several pieces in various states. I published one, finishing the tasks of writing there. I am revising a sequel to that novel, with another sequel in the rough draft stage. There’s another in the planning stages. I also have another idea that I have in nebulous form that I am beginning to plan. How do I keep them straight? I treat them all as separate projects and use project management techniques. I found free software that lets me control them. It’s called Project Studio. It’s basically a glorified to-do list, but it helps me to keep everything on track. The organization is simple. You create the project and divide it into milestones. Then you add tasks to the milestones. You can ask checklists to the tasks for another layer of division if you need it. I find it helps me to keep the tasks straight and lets me set deadlines for the tasks, milestones and project. It’s a method to keep myself on track. It lets me plan how to accomplish the tasks.

I define the project first. I choose a working title, which becomes the project name. For a novel, I set the milestones first. I set character development, with a task and checklist for each character I plan to use in the novel. World building with tasks to create, depending on the genre, the world, culture and other aspects of world building. Settings, where I make descriptions of the various places where action takes place. The next milestone is the rough draft with just that as the task. Then I have a revision milestone. I do a task for each scene in the novel. I use checklists for each task. The checklist for the revision tasks, includes pacing where I look for issues with my pacing, dialog tags, in which work on those areas. Then I look for adverbs, passive voice, showing vs telling, cliches, redundancies, unnecessary filler words, I also look at how many different sentence structures I used in the work, then I look at generic descriptions, like look, pretty, etc. I also look for repeated words and phrases. That works well enough for me.

It takes some work to set up the project, but it works wonders for keeping me on track and allows me to budget my time efficiently. Now my method works for me but it may not work for everyone. This is just how I maintain control over my various projects. I no longer have a hodgepodge of projects in disarray. I know what I need to do and I have made decisions on how to do it. It’s as simple as that.


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

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Posted in General Opinion, Writing Techniques

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© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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