I’m using this idea of the Productive Flourishing site. I always feel like anyone talking about time management or planning is talking to someone else, instead of to people like me.

This one started out as coming from Superstars, and Adriel Wiggins‘ workshop on continuity editing. She talked about using a white board to create a layout for your setting.

I thought it was a pretty good idea, so I bought two 11X17 white boards (Target’s got them. They’re under $10). Tried a setting for Dice Ford 2.

Then I thought about writing a witch cozy short story (it turned into a novella project because the anthology requirements were contemporary. My story was set in the 1940s). So I grabbed the white board and I hit some genealogy sites to look up last names. Just made a list. Hit the social security site for popular names in the 1900s.

After that, I hit vintage clothing sites and did research on styles and colors of the clothing the characters would wear.

As I started writing the first few chapters, I added in the description of the characters, what they were specifically wearing in the scenes I was working on., grabbed one of the last names off the ones I’d come up with.

It saved a lot of time. I now have five boards (because, as Productive Flourishing notes), you can’t do more than five projects at time. One was for the actual short story for the call, which included the basics I needed to hit from the guidelines (you know, word count, elements I have to make sure are in the story). I also did some quick research on the first scene’s setting.

In doing one for Dice 2, I realized an item of clothing she was wearing dropped off my radar and it would have become a problem in the later scenes. So I made it a problem.

Better still, I did the detail research I needed before I started, so I wouldn’t have to stop to do it while I was writing. Huge time saver!