Nail your story to the wall

The pinboard novelist Alex Morgan created to help her write Pressmennan

Today, I am officially two-thirds of the way through the first draft of my new novel, Pressmennan. I’m celebrating by killing off one of the characters – and posting a picture of my office pinboard.

When I began writing Pressmennan, other than a few scribbles in my notebook, the only thing I had to help me keep track of my characters and their actions was the Excel spreadsheet I mentioned in a previous post.

As the manuscript has grown, it’s become harder to keep hold of everything, and I decided to create a pinboard so I could see it all at a glance.

I put up a list of characters and a summary of the action still to come. There are sticky yellow notes to remind me of things I might forget to sort out or add in, pictures representing my central characters, and postcards and other keepsakes that illustrate key elements of their story.

It’s a complete visual representation of my novel and has made a huge difference. If you’re working on a major writing project, why not make one too? I just hope I’ve made the resolution low enough on mine so it doesn’t turn into one gigantic spoiler.

And the death? I’m saying no more about it.

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About Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan is the author of Tandem, winner of the Hookline Novel Competition 2013. Tandem is about love, loss, a celebrity penguin – and riding a bicycle built for two. She is working on her second novel.

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