Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Really Bad Writing Advice: Organization is Bad
All right, so the second half of my novel-in-progress is kind of a mess. All right, an actual mess. All right, so the arc kind of droops with a scoliosis kind of twist at a point when droopiness is not exactly what I was going for.
After some mean-spirited yet rational person advised it was a poor idea to demand that my Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, and Listserv friends send me over some writing software that would fix the problem for me upon installation, preferably while I slept, I resorted to the notecard.
There they were, a monument to hoarding, slightly yellowed, a lifetime supply from when my kid took Spanish and we spent almost an entire year laboring under the delusion that notecards help kids learn languages.
Then I bought a corkboard. (Two actually – thinking that this mess might require a vast panorama of color-coded notecards, spreading six feet across my dining room.) Then I found some flashy, multicolored thumbtacks. And some matching pastel post-its that I could use to make some really insipid pastel rainbows should I ever finish reorganizing the second half of my book.
And now, in the story arc that should culminate in the repair of my novel and the first aspiring truth ever involving Staples, we reach the premature and unanticipated horror of organization: My dog, my writer’s assistant, companion, and eater of paper (I like to think of this as editing choices from the Great Beyond) likes flashy multi-colored thumbtacks. A lot. Also notecards. I hesitate to describe the amount of chasing, cajoling, and offers of salami, brie, Puperoni, and leftover almond cookies from take-out Chinese were involved in getting my thumbtack back.
Suffice to say, not only did organization almost kill my dog, but the convincing of my dog to return the notecard with the thumbtack lodged in it was highly distracting and not conducive to unscrambling my novel.
Eschew organization. It could kill your dog.