CompassLast week we talked about getting our ideas out on paper via our ‘analog modular capture and recording system’ … otherwise known as PostIt® notes! You can click here for an image of my notes for the upcoming book ‘Write a Book in 30 Days’ – I’ll be doing this right along with you as we go through the series.

Now it’s puzzle time! We’ve got our ideas out on paper squares where we can sort, rearrange, look for continuity, look for ideas that don’t belong, look for redundancies, look for redundancies, etc.

Imagine that you and a friend have planned a series of visits where you can explain your message (the theme of your book) to her one visit at a time. Your friend doesn’t know anything about your message and it’s going to take more than one visit for you to unveil it in full. What are you going to share with her on that first visit? How are you going to introduce her to your idea – get her set up for future visits? Do you have an idea written on one of your PostIt notes that introduces her to your message for the first time? That’s PostIt note number one.

What would you share with your friend on her second visit? You’ve already introduced her to your message during visit one; what is the next idea you want to share with her that will lead, eventually to the core of your theme? That’s PostIt note number two. Imagine the third visit, and so on. As you tell your story from beginning to end, you will see a logical progression unfold before you, like stepping stones on a path (going through this exercise you may need to add a PostIt or two or take a few away). Remember, your friend doesn’t know anything about your story, you can’t assume that she has the same context you do as the author – that’s why you have to begin at the beginning, introduce your message, and lay it out, step by step in a logical progression, using your PostIt notes as the stepping stones. You can click here to see how I arranged my PostIt notes for ‘Write a Book in 30 Days.’

Technical note: I’ve been busy learning Scrivener and it’s pretty neat! I’ll continue to use this as we go forward and share my progress with you. Here’s what my PostIt notes look like on Scrivener.

Next week we’ll create an outline from our ‘stepping stones.’ Leave me a comment here to let me know how you’re doing.

And if you’re ahead of the game and you’ve already got your manuscript ready but not published? Contact me, let’s see what we can do to get your book published and on the market!

Click here for “How to write a book in 30 days” step 4: “Create an outline”