I wouldn't go that far. Despite my increasing penchant for planning, I can't deny my natural bent toward organic writing.
Still, I've been letting you in on my authorly journey for some time now, so I thought I'd share some visuals so you can see just how PLOTTERISH I'm looking these days.
I am in the midst of a fairly large revision. While staring at 30 chapters, extensive notes, and a blinking cursor, I decided the best course of action would be to break the chapters into their individual scenes. It took me a whole afternoon at the vineyard, and it was SO. BORING. I don't do well with tedium or anything remotely repetitive, you see.
But I persevered. And ended up with 144 lavender notecards, as such:
Yes, that's a Scrivener screen shot. It's too tiny to read the words, which are mostly cut off because of the size of the cards, anyway. But a simple click on each card reveals the bullet items I included on each to let me know exactly what's in the scene. Part of Scrivener's coolness is that you can drag the cards around. So changing the location of a particular scene is easy.
As I finish each chapter, I color-code the corresponding scene cards. That way, I can see the chapter breakdown at a glance. If I decide at some point to move a scene from one chapter to another, all I have to do is drag it and change its color.
At any rate, I've completed nine chapters so far. So my bulletin board now looks like this:
Isn't that pretty? The uber-dork in me gets all excited each time I get to choose a new chapter color. And the anal retentive administrative assistant in me (yes yes, I used to BE one) is all excited by the high level of organization here.
So there you have it. Breaking the novel into its smallest components has been HUGELY successful so far. Those of you who already use the write-in-scenes approach may be rolling your eyes at my slowness. No matter. I'm absolutely giddy over this.
Mind you, this is a completed novel. I haven't tried my hand at scene-plotting a new story. My brain doesn't work that way! But my love affair with colored notecards is flourishing, and I heartily recommend it to any of you who are feeling overwhelmed with a large, looming revision. Each completed scene feels like a wonderful accomplishment -- even if it's only 280 words long. And you all know how important those little psychological boosts are.
Happy plotting, happy scening, happy editing, happy revising, happy WRITING to you!