writing

How Useful Are Your Post-It Notes?

Board Image with Post-It Notes ID © Roman Milert | Dreamstime.com 2609687

ATLANTA – Written by M.L. Childs, Paranormal Romance Author, Screenwriter, Copywriter and Dramatic Historian

Do you use Post-It notes? I find them repulsive because even though they are meant to keep me organized, they end up looking like a bunch of colorful clutter with words on them that are obscure or obsolete once I go back to review them. Their original intended use may not work well for me, but I have discovered the perfect use for them within my writing process. I am currently working on the sequel to my novel, The Vital Sacrifice. I was pleased with the finished product of my first novel, but I admit that I wasn’t very organized in the writing process the first time around. Since I have many more books to research and write soon, I thought it would be a good idea develop a writing routine that I can apply to each of my projects so that I won’t get tangled up in the production process.

One way that I have planned to keep my book layout and writing plan on track is a technique that I learned in a screenwriting class. Excellent screenwriters (film writers) lay out their scenes using index cards. They usually lay the cards out on the floor or they may have a large cork board on which they pin the index cards.  This method of organization allows them to move scenes around easily if and when they need to make changes to the script before they start writing the screenplay.

While most screenwriters use the index card method, I have found that using the poster board and Post-It notes method is more convenient. I find this process very useful and satisfying because I can see everything that needs to happen in my book scenes laid out in front of me, similar to an outline. Unlike an outline, it is easier to move scenes around as I change my mind about the storyline. Also, having the Post-It notes on poster board is great because, as all you writers know, we need a change of scenery sometimes and this is a light, convenient thing to carry around the house or around the world.

I’m not sure what your approach to writing is but I usually start by laying my book out in acts or parts.  I create a Post- It for each of the acts and put those on the poster board.  From there, I start filling in scenes under each part.   I have moved scenes and gotten rid of them by just moving a Post-It note.  Once I am comfortable with all the things laid out in my acts, I then group scenes together to formulate a chapter.  But I loosely create chapters at this point because I don’t want to restrict my creative process too much. The goal with my poster board and Post-It note method is getting organized enough to avoid writer’s block.

How about you? What techniques do you use to keep yourself organized during the research and writing process? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Image courtesy of © Roman Milert | Dreamstime.com 

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Get Your Copy of The Paranormal Romance “The Vital Sacrifice” Today

You are in for a cerebral workout of a lifetime from the moment you open up the novel, The Vital Sacrifice.

Superstar singer, Teresa McMillan, has been chasing success for many years and for her persistence, she’s been rewarded generously with many musical awards for her beautiful soprano voice.  She is proud of her accomplishments but she is starting to feel incomplete because she has yet to get married and have a family with her fiance, Matthew Larkin.

Now, she is suffering from a mid-life crisis, torn between choosing continued career success or settling down and starting a family.  This is causing her so much stress that she is becoming increasingly delusional.  Nightmares, sleepless nights, and panic attacks have her on edge so much that she can’t even tell the difference between what’s real or imagined in her life anymore, especially when handsome, business mogul, Ali Rahman enters her life.

Is Ali a sly Casanova hell-bent on wrestling her from her fiance to make her his own?  Or, is Teresa so far-gone in her delusions that Ali and all of the drama that emerges after meeting him just a figment of her imagination?

Prepare yourself for an unpredictable roller-coaster ride as your imagination spirals out of control along with Teresa’s already whimsical celebrity life.

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Spend Your Halloween Evening Reading, The Vital Sacrifice

Order your copy of The Vital Savrifice now so that once the trick-or-treating is over, and the kids are off to sleep, you can treat yourself to a good scare before bedtime.

Teresa McMillan finds herself indecisive as she finishes her world tour. Like many successful, career-oriented women, she is torn between her career and a growing desire to get married and have a family with her steady boyfriend. As she is staring into the mirror in her dressing room before her concert in Milan, Italy, Teresa sees something appear and disappear in the reflection. Her agent makes a joke that it is the phantom of the opera coming to get her, a joke that she doesn’t find amusing.

Ali Abdur Rahman certainly isn’t the phantom of the opera, but he does appear in Teresa’s life as if out of nowhere. This handsome, wealthy businessman from the East sees an image of Teresa in the local newspaper while he is on a business trip in Milan and can’t believe his eyes.

Strike one: Teresa’s in a relationship. Strike two: She has no idea who Ali is. Strike three: Ali is a part of a cult of semi-immortal men that forbid prolonged contact with the human race.

Striking out will not stop Ali’s obsession with Teresa and this semi-immortal man will discover that succumbing to the power of love comes with a sacrifice.

 

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The freaks definitely do come out at night, especially on Halloween.

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About The Vital Sacrifice Characters – Meet Tina Desai

My sister’s keeper, a friend until the end. . .

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Image courtesy of Dreamstime.comLike a sister from another mother, Tina has always had Teresa’s back.  Just like Teresa, Tina is a career woman who has devoted her life to her career as a fierce attorney.  Unlike Teresa, Tina’s not chasing her happily ever after because she just went through a rotten divorce with her high profile attorney husband, Rodney Dumas.  As a couple, this powerhouse law team never lost a case.  They both made a sport out of kicking ass in the courtroom, representing high celebrity clients in some of the most impossible cases imaginable and winning.  Now she and her ex are on the opposite side of the fences.  She is no longer representing high-class clients and instead has turned her attention to those whom she believes needs her most — those who are innocent but can’t secure quality attorneys.

Image courtesy of Dreamstime.comTina is Teresa’s rock and when Teresa’s world starts to go haywire, Tina is the voice of reason that keeps Teresa on her toes.  Best friends until the end, just as they pledged in high school, is what these women prove to be.  And even when Teresa’s extreme highs and lows start to place a strain on their friendship, Tina stands by the sister that she never had until she is back to her old self.

 The Vital Sacrifice, a Paranormal Romance Novel by M. L. Childs

 

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Disclaimer – These are stock image and fictitious descriptions of characters contained within my novel. These descriptions are not about the people in the image.  The image and the description serve to get readers better acquainted with the main characters appearing in my novel.  Any resemblance to real people is coincidental.  

 

 

 

About The Vital Sacrifice Characters – Meet Chi Khan

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Chi Khan belonged to a family of spies related to Gheghis Khan during the 12th century.  He, Anwar and Ali are the leaders of The Order of Solomon’s Temple but Chi Khan and Anwar always seem to be conspiring to keep Ali in line.  Just like all of the brothers in his crew, he too is a thrill-seeking and pleasure-driven being.  But he represents the moral fabric of the brotherhood – he strives to keep order and often resorts to his spy tactics to keep his fellow brethren in line.  Chi Khan is not as harsh as Anwar when it comes to leadership but he will stand by Anwar’s side in an effort to maintain order in the ranks – even if it means eliminating members in order to uphold their oath of secrecy.

 

 

 The Vital Sacrifice Front Cover

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Disclaimer – These are stock image and fictitious descriptions of characters contained within my novel. These descriptions are not about the people in the image.  The image and the description serve to get readers better acquainted with the main characters appearing in my novel.  Any resemblance to real people is coincidental.  

 

 

 

About The Vital Sacrifice Characters – Meet Anwar Mamluk

The Vital Sacrifice Fictitious Characters - Anwar Guzman

Anwar Mamluk was a mercenary near Anatolia in the 12th century.  He cares about nothing or no one but himself and this doesn’t change when he becomes semi-immortal.  Nothing is ever enough for this sensation seeker and even though he and his crew can have anything that they want because they are semi-immortals, this still isn’t enough.  Despite his own insatiable spirit, he doesn’t want to lose what he has and he can’t understand why Ali keeps wanting to risk it all for Teresa – a woman whom both of them have seen once before over the ages and who is now once again becoming a pain in Anwar’s semi-immortal ass.

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Anwar is not going to stand idly by and allow his co-leader, Ali, to be sucker punched by the emotion of love — an emotion that Ali knows that he shouldn’t give into.  The way that Anwar sees it, Ali can have any woman he wants – they are good-looking, they are rich, and most importantly they are undead.  No matter why Ali keeps having these feelings, Anwar’s mercenary spirit comes through again and he will not tolerate losses of any kind especially that stem from involvement with a woman.  He along with the third leader of the Order, Chi Khan, aim to preserve the Order even if someone’s life must end.

 

Grab your copy of The Vital Sacrifice and discover just what all the commotion is about.

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 The Vital Sacrifice Front Cover

 

$9.99 USD Paperback
$2.99 USD Kindle

The Vital Sacrifice Amazon Button

 

 

Disclaimer – These are stock image and fictitious descriptions of characters contained within my novel. These descriptions are not about the people in the image.  The image and the description serve to get readers better acquainted with the main characters appearing in my novel.  Any resemblance to real people is coincidental.  

 

 

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.  Additional images courtesy of Dreamstime.com.