Back to Writing Roots

First, an apology.
I have wandered away from blogging, into the delicious struggle of fiction writing. But excuses help no one. So, let’s discuss writing.
I am currently 239 pages into a sequel to CITY OF WOE, to be entitled CITY OF PAIN (part of a planned trilogy “The City Series” that will serve as both modern detective thrillers and an echo of each section of Dante’s The Divine Comedy).
I must confess that I tried to modernize, tried to forego my long held habit of brainstorming on index cards.
But now, 239 pages in, I am missing them.
Standing in the shower, I miss them.
Tossing and turning in bed when I should be sleeping, I yearn for them.
And at the writing desk (table, actually, but that’s another blog), I miss being able to easily look at them for quick reference on story references.
And there is gold in those cards.
First, index cards allow a writer the freedom of just writing story ideas, bits of dialogue, character sketches, plot points, scene ideas. No need to be deep or groundbreaking or impressive. This is just gathering thought.
When those ideas have piled up, organizing the cards into some sort of progression through the story offers clarity.
Pinning them to a large bulletin board creates the flow, reveals story gaps and pacing oddities, allows a writer to adjust that flow easily by moving some cards, adding a few new ones. And then when writing, a quick look confirms story facts, keeps names straight, allows quick access to chapter numbers in case a rewrite is needed, and so much more.
And I had been trying to do it all in my head. Hah! Not the most efficient use of time and mind and energy, as I have discovered while trying to keep 239 pages of information straight in my head.
So I am going to write my beloved index cards now, at the eleventh hour, for peace of mind and security of balance and to easily add little story touches as the novel deepens.
The lesson? Don’t dis what works, respect your process whether it is cutting edge tech or blunt, aging favorites, and never get in the way of what the writing needs.
As always, ya gotta serve the story.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an index card filled act of contrition to complete.

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</ Ryan is author of City of Woe, available on Kindle and Nook, and in print. For more info, click here.<

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About chrisryanwrites

My name is Christopher Ryan. I am a former award-winning journalist turned high school teacher, and I have written since reading S.E. Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS when I was in elementary school. I have independently published an award-winning debut novel, CITY OF WOE, plus the prequel short story collection CITY OF SIN, the sequel novel CITY OF PAIN, a high school thriller novel GENIUS HIGH, and several high adventure novelettes for the Rapid Reads series featuring Alex Simmons' African-American adventurer BLACKJACK All are available via amazon.com, as is my children's book, THE FERGUSON FILES - THE MYSTERY SPOT. Additionally, I was nominated for a supporting actor award for my work in the multiple award-winning independent film, CLANDESTINE, from Feenix Films. I blog about writing, life, pop culture, the journey of learning to promote my independently published work, my efforts to secure a traditional publishing contract, and my career as a teacher.
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