Methodology is important there’s no doubt about that.

A wrong method can make you feel like a failure as time and time again you hit a brick wall attempting to fulfill your goal. I’m specifically talking about a writing goal.

So I finished that first draft of mine. I’m the first to admit. It’s shit. Yes, I have wonderful ideas that can flower into a wonderful novel, but the way it is now, well it’s not even worthy of being toilet paper.

My characters, though they exist in my head, their roles are not fleshed out enough. My wonderfully creative settings, ditto. And my plot, well, ditto again.

I knew what I had to do. I would have to become bigger on plotting, on forming an outline, if I ever hoped to make something of my novel. But for some reason I couldn’t figure out a a good method of doing it. I use a great writing program called Scrivener, without which I couldn’t have possibly finished my first draft, but the Scrivener’s virtual cork board, which is a wonderful tool in itself, wasn’t useful enough for my own plotting. The method was wrong for me.

Everyday, before working on my characters I would spend about an hour googling different things to help me on my way. And then a few days ago I googled “How to Plot a Novel” and I clicked on How to plot your novel – a free article by Simon Haynes. Simon Haynes, you opened my eyes.

You see, Mr. Haynes introduced me to an incredible tool called FreeMind. I downloaded the free software and all of a sudden my plotting became visual. In the blink of an eye the holes in my novel are no longer invisible or invincible. They now cower before me. I’m a superhero. In my own mind. Ok, ok. I won’t push it that far. But thanks to FreeMind and Mr. Simon Haynes I’m on my way to effectively improving my second draft.

So method is important. And sometimes you just have to stick around long enough to find what method works for you. It’s not always easy, but when you find it is oh, but so rewarding!