Ready. Set. Write! :: Color-Coded Spreadsheet Edition


Ready. Set. WRITE! is an online writing intensive to help you stay accountable with your writing goals over the summer and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on whether planning, drafting, or revising! Your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

How I did on last week's goals:
I did it! Yes, it was at the very last possible minute, but I accomplished a major reconstruction/restructuring. I chronologized what was once a huge, out-of-order, random mess. And cut a lot of words in the process.

This monumental task required a color-coded spreadsheet - so not my style:

Someday, I'm going to write a straight-up novel IN ORDER with one narrator and one time-frame. I wonder what that would be like. 

My goals for this week:
Fill in the blue spots on the spreadsheet, which are basically empty chapters of present-day action. This will be a matter of fleshing out chapters and spreading them out. I'm giving myself two weeks to complete this.
Other goals this week are to attempt to exercise again (I broke a toe last weekend) and to read two more books for the YA Buccaneers Summer Reading Challenge.

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:
I turn back to Wes. “Salted Nut Roll?” I ask. This is the quintessential winter survival kit power fuel back home. If you get stranded in a blizzard, the Salted Nut Roll will save your life. Peanuts, sweet creamy nougat, and just enough salt. Salty and sweet, just like you, my dad used to say to me. Plus, they were made in St. Paul. “You’re a true Minnesotan, Wes.”
The biggest challenge I faced this week:
My biggest challenge was the manuscript itself. Putting this thing in order was gruesome. 

Something I love about my WiP: 
That it is now in order, plot holes and empty chapters and all. <3
I am so grateful for Ready. Set. Write! once again this year. The twitter writing parties have been so helpful and I thank everyone who has left a comment and encouraged me here. I want you to know that I have been reading many, many of your updates over the last few weeks - a lot of times, though, I read them in my email or on the fly and I don't have a lot of time to make comments. But just know I'm reading them and cheering you on!
Have a great week and good luck with your goals!  


  1. I think I've missed out on the twitter parties! I'll have to get in on that. I have used a color coded outline of sorts during a revision, and I am also not usually that type of person with my writing, but sometimes that level of organization is necessary. Way to go!

  2. COLOR CODING, FTW! I do that and it really helps! And yay for progress and twitter parties. Maybe one of these nights I'll be able to join in.

    Have a great week!

  3. That spreadsheet is IMPRESSIVE! Hope you have a productive week!

  4. Yay for Twitter parties, and YAY for color-coding. I'm a big fan of that sort of organization, especially when it comes to monster revisions, which we're both apparently wading through. Best of luck with it, Sara!

  5. That outline is awesome! I usually write in order and I haven't ventured into more than one POV yet, so I haven't had quite that problem, although I think that spreadsheet would be helpful anyway!
    Good luck on your goals this week!

  6. That looks so colourful and organised! Pretty! =D

  7. Wow! Such an amazing tool! My organized self is drooling right now. Glad you were able to get in a place where you feel organized! Have a great week!

  8. Great job on the re-organization! I've never written a novel with multiple timelines, and I imagine that' can be so confusing! Best of luck this week! :)

  9. Hugs!!! Your spreadsheet gives me all kinds of anxiety. Really. But it looks like you are doing so well on your WiP, and I am very impressed! Good luck on your writing this week and lets do a Twitter party very soon!!

  10. That is one very impressive spreadsheet. Impressive and terrifying! Sure you can get those blue spaces filled in in no time, though :)

    I wish I could join in on the Twitter writing so much…just that pesky little five+ hour time difference to deal with. One day!

  11. Wow, you are so organized with that color-coded chart. It sort of frightens me.

    OK, you've sort of sold me on the Salted Nut Roll. It sounds strange and possibly delicious.

    I'm with you on the Twitter writing parties. They are so very helpful. I'll be working tonight if you're up for it!

  12. That spreadsheet makes me want to read your book! I always break out Excel whenever I need to organize my thoughts. It puts me in total left brain mode. Is it nerdy if I say I think it's totally fun? Oh well. Good luck on your writing this week! :)

  13. This: Someday, I'm going to write a straight-up novel IN ORDER with one narrator and one time-frame. I wonder what that would be like.

    I, too, wonder. Maybe this time my WIP will turn out that way. Maybe?

  14. I wanna Salted Nut Roll! ;) I've never tried a color coded chart...yet. Best of luck for this week to you!

  15. Yay for Twitter parties and revisions and HOLY spreadsheet is scary O_O *runs away* I do no plotting… I love the excerpt you shared and love that it is about a particular place i have not been in the USA. I hope I get to read it one day!

  16. YAY!!! Congrats on getting everything in order. And that spreadsheet =s impressive!

    Not yay for the broken toe. Ouch! Hope you are feeling better soon.


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