Cynthia Dettman:  Author

The color-coded jigsaw puzzle of a multi-layered novel

After five weeks in India and some slow times for writing, I’m feeling very pleased with my progress.  I’m getting a lot of useful information and atmosphere details, AND am now tackling the plot outline again. It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle that itself keeps changing shape.  How to structure the plot movements?  How to create character development and changes?  How to balance drama with quieter times?

Sandra Scofield, my current writing mentor from afar, recommends a variety of methods for revision.  I wasn’t ready to use her color-coded index cards system when I started, so I’ve created perhaps 10 different tables following the events of the story.

Well, guess what?  It’s time for the color coded index cards!  I need visual threads to show me how I’ve structured things so far.

Here’s a brief tour of my humble rented room in Chennai and the evolution of my color-coded novel manuscript.

Jigsaw Puzzle


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