The Pull of The Post-It

Last week I took part in a Zoom workshop led by author Julie Cohen, in which she talked about different ways of using sticky coloured Post-It notes in your writing.

It was fun and informative and while I’m not going to tell you everything that Julie taught us (she might want to run the workshop again and raise more money. She raised over £1000 for two charities with this one), I’m sure you’ve heard about or thought of using Post-It notes for plotting out a novel.

Author Sophia Bennett swears by them and talks about plotting with Post-Its here (she also points out that it’s the perfect excuse to buy stationery. And we all love stationery, right? I’m sure it was just coincidence that her article appears on a stationery company’s website, by the way…!)

And look what I did the morning after Julie’s workshop!

I wrote out the main events of my novel, colour-coded with a different colour for each POV (point of view) character (yellow’s not finished!).

Those are just the events that happen; I’m going to do it again with their emotional/internal journeys mapped out so I can see their character arcs.

I’ve always been a bit dismissive of processes like this but it’s a great way of seeing your whole novel on one A3 page and not have to keep trying to remember or hold it in your head.

I am working on my novel which needs to be submitted to the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme by the end of August. Remember last year, when I missed the deadline? I am NOT doing that again. (Definitely not because even if it’s not complete, I can send a ‘partial’ but I don’t want to do that. I want to send the whole thing. And therefore, ahem, I need to finish this blog post and get back to it).

On Reading (and listening!)

I am usually a monogamous reader. Strictly one book at a time! But at the moment, I’ve got THREE on the go (this is what happens when you stupidly join two book clubs).

And each is in a different format: on my Kindle I have ‘Humble Pi’ (for Book Club #1). This is non-fiction, a ‘comedy of maths errors’. Hmm, there are some interesting anecdotes but also some quite technical, boring maths stories, so the jury’s still out on this one.

Then, an ‘actual’ book: Lissa Evans’ fabulous ‘Their Finest’ (originally entitled, “Their Finest Hour and a Half” which I’m really enjoying (WW2, romantic comedy, highly recommended. The film’s great too).

This is partly ‘research’ as I’m attempting to write a novel set in WW2 (see above) but I can only dream of writing something this good…

And finally, on audiobook (get me!) I am listening to Joanne Harris’s ‘Gentlemen And Players‘ (for Book Club #2). This is good but oooh, audiobooks are so long! I reckon I could read the novel in about 2 – 3 hours and the audiobook is … over 11 hours long!

BUT, I read an article on line today about how audiobooks are going through a BOOM.

Apparently, we’re all reading more in #lockdown, for obvious reasons and audiobook sales have gone through the roof, in part because it’s reassuring, in these troubled times, to have a calm human voice read us a story. (Ah, bless).

Do You Think You’re Funny?

The Funny Pearls Short Story Competition 2020

If you’re a woman who can write funny stuff (and I know there are lots of you out there who can!) you might be interested in this competition, which actually doesn’t open for email submissions until 1st September but you could start getting your entry together now.

It’s “open to women of all nationalities from any country. It is free to enter the competition” and they’re looking for funny stories of between 1000 and 2500 words.

As always, don’t forget to read the rules carefully before you submit and good luck!

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9 Responses to The Pull of The Post-It

  1. juliathorley says:

    I love a pack of Post-Its I sometimes wonder if I became a writer simply so I could buy lots of stationery. and yes, I’m hilarious!

    • Helen Yendall says:

      I know, I LOVE Post-Its too. The colours! The cute size! The … the stickiness! And I’m sure you are hilarious, Julia. Get writing that entry for the competition!

  2. Jane Bettany says:

    Wow, Helen! Those post-its look very organised. I think it’s a great idea, because it’s something you can do that doesn’t involve staring at a screen. Good luck with your RNA submission – I’m sure you’ll meet the deadline this year.

    • Helen Yendall says:

      Thanks, Jane. It’s actually quite good fun (it’s creative but, as you say, gets you away from a screen). Also, Post-Its are brilliant because you can move them around so easily – and chuck them away if you decide a scene’s not necessary or not working.

  3. Fran Hill says:

    I love post-its. I’ve got loads in different colours to use in my teaching and in my writing. Lately, though, during my teaching, they’ve proved very difficult to use over Zoom, and I think Zoom needs to get its act together in this regard.

  4. pennywrite says:

    Sticky notes – yeh! – I particularly like the flourescent (?spelling) colours!
    Good luck with the novel, Helen.

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