When I have finished my corkboard — not forgetting that I am already writing — I create a Scene-Plan spreadsheet.

The document comprises the post-it notes that survived my first cull transcribed into a spreadsheet with a little more detail. I use the spreadsheet throughout the book’s pre-publication lifecycle. For instance, I rely on it during the editing phase, which I will document in a later blog.

I don’t use the Does it work and What to do columns until the full draft is complete and I am editing the book.

Scene — A high-level pro-memoria to what the scene involves. This doesn’t need any detail, just enough to keep me apprised of the scene’s purpose.

Points — Main plot points of the scene. Some schools maintain a scene requires a minimum of three. I don’t agree. As long as the scene moves the story along, I don’t think it matters. In fact, I would go so far as stating a chapter with only one scene and only one point, can, if used sparingly, have a great dramatic effect.

POV — I find it useful to have a reminder of the point of view. Modern story theory maintains that in a third-person limited novel, each scene should only contain one POV. Obviously, with first-person or third-person omniscient, the theory is not relevant.

While I am creating the spreadsheet if I notice any holes, incongruencies, or surviving redundancy from the first cull, I cull again.

When I am happy with the spreadsheet, I create the Document Skeleton.

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