Friday, August 13, 2010


Happy Friday!

I wasn't planning on a post today. Nope, not at all! I was going to sit back and relax today. Why? Because it's going to be 110 freaking degrees with the heat index. I'm not going outside!

So, I planned on doing a bit of this, a bit of that, and a whole lot of nothing today. I'm allowed. Okay, not as often as I'd like, but today . . .

Then again, the best laid plans of . . . well, I'm sure you know the phrase.

Have I mentioned I love my Table of Contents for my latest project? Love! Love! LOVE!

You see, this handy-dandy Table of Contents has come in, well, handy. Ha! Not only does it show me the course of the novel from beginning, middle, to The End, it has also allowed me to map out the - ta da - timeline (like how I weaved in the title of the post) of the novel as well.

As I've pointed out before, the contents looks something like this . . .

Chapter Title .........bunch of dots ............... page #

It's simple and precise. I've been known to notate in the ...... bunch of dots ...... about things that I need to do in specific chapters. Very handy indeed.

Well, today, in mapping out the actual chain of events, I've done this . . .

Chapter Title ....... Early July ................... page#
Chapter Title ....... few days later ............ page#
Chapter Title ....... August

Isn't that clever? I amaze myself sometimes.

So, not only can a Table of Contents help track the progress of a novel, it can also help you - me - map out the span of time of the novel. Woo-hoo!

On that note . . . have a great weekend and try to stay cool.



Franklin Beaumont said...

I also find chaptering a fun and useful process. I'll usually include one-or-two line synopses of each chapter so I can see the basic flow of the story. It's weird seeing something I worked on so long condensed to such a degree. Occasionally I find out I've been writing a different story than I thought I was.

Robyn Campbell said...

Super post, my friend. I actually think this is a great way to track our progress. Shhhh, don't tell anyone I said that.;)

I am just starting my new book (I've written the first chapter five times.) so I feel I must snatch this idea of yours and use it.

And you won't melt, yanno? :)

Scott said...

Franklin - the whole Table of Contents experience has been . . . different. I like how the ToC has really helped define the novel.

Robyn - thanks. I do have brilliant ideas from time to time, you know. And I give you permission to borrow from my brilliance. Ha!

Leslie said...

Scott-- just happened onto your blog from another site. Love this idea of yours--the Table of Contents. As soon as I get back to my novel I plan to implement it. Thanks!