It started out as a few scraps of paper, hastily scrawled and sometimes barely legible, then grew into a bunch of tattered newspaper clippings thrown into a shoebox or a bulging manila folder. I had no idea what any of it meant. I had forgotten why I put the things there or when. Sometimes I even forgot where I put the shoebox. I ignored the problem for a while, telling myself I'd deal with it later. But then it started to make me nervous and feel out of control, especially for an organizational freak like me, someone with an obsessive, compulsive need to know where everything is at every given moment. To lose something as important as an idea for a book or a character, drove me crazy. The next time I needed a new plot idea, what was I going to do? So I finally began to organize my ideas with a vengeance. I bought brightly-colored three-ring binders and pasted all the newspaper articles in it, organized by topic. (World War II has always been a favorite--missing people, missing treasures--I've always wanted to write a romantic suspense novel set in that time period). Then I took all the little snibbles of paper and pasted them down in a separate section, once again, organized by topic, the best ideas toward the front. Whenever a character name popped into my head (which happens often), I consolidated all of the names in one place, along with a list of distinguishing characteristics. I made a separate piece of paper for names of places I'd dreamed up, restaurants, cities and towns, the whole imaginary gambit. And tab dividers also helped, along with the color-coded binders. For the plots that I'd developed beyond a line or two, I took another binder and put the detailed chapter by chapter outline in it, along with a personality sketch on each character, and all the research I'd done to date, including the location where the book would be set and the history, character occupations, etc. These binders got very thick, but they certainly restored my sense of calm. Plus, I put them in an easily recognizable place, on top of or inside a bookshelf, rather than hiding them away in a desk drawer or filing cabinet. Everything was right at my fingertips and I could relax. But what about new ideas, now that the binders were finished? I left blank space in the front and back of each one, for any new kernels of story ideas or people that might pop up. P.S. Paperless world, be damned. I still print out a hard copy of everything I write or research. Too many computer crashes or freezes convinced me this was the safest method. So what are your suggestions? How do you keep track of all of those marvelous plot ideas that you dream up? You've got to find a safe place to stash them or they'll be gone forever. For those of you that have tried to leave comments in previous weeks and couldn't, I apologize for the problem with Blogger. I hope the situation has been rectified. Thought for the Day: …"we are as good as anyone else, with as much to say as the next person. The only thing that stands in our way is not saying it."--Maeve Binchy
Next week: Write about what you enjoy or write what you think will sell?
FIVE STARS: "Excellent writing! Enjoyable hero and heroine! Great romance! Fast pace! I read it straight through! Author thorough in research! I lived the experience!"--A reader on Amazon.com
FIVE STARS: "Erica Kingsley, a twenty-nine year old spoiled woman had to be taught a lesson and her CEO father planned with the help of her ex-lover to do just that! The Holiday Channel needed a huge cash flow shot in the arm or it was at the mercy of his enemy. Erica hosted "The Lap of Luxury Show" and her ex hosted "The Wildman Show." Both shows could not survive and he got the idea of filming Erica as she tried to survive in the Belize jungle while they searched for Montezuma's Treasure!
Trey Zacco was told not to give the pampered Erica any help and he rode her hard! His crew was being picked off one by one and all eyes were on Erica as the culprit, but would she go as far as murder to get back to Miami?
Does Ms. Chambers hold her readers captive with a book that you just can't put down and gives her opinion on where the king's daughter buried his gold! From the descriptions of the jungle, the visions fairly leaped off the pages and I can't wait to read her next!"--A Reader on Goodreads.com
FIVE STARS: "A Wild Sultry Ride! Wonderful, action-packed story! I was completely lost in the author's words. Ms. Chambers created quite a world for us to lose ourself in. The chemistry between Trey and Erica is fantastic. With curves, twist, romance and action. Take the chance, The Montezuma Secret is well worth your time."--A reader on Amazon.com
The Secret Sentinel
Available from The Wild Rose Press
Reviews for The Secret Sentinel
FIVE STARS AND A TOP PICK FROM NIGHT OWL REVIEWS--" The Secret Sentinel is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. Look out Nora Roberts...there's a new author on the horizon."
FOUR STARS FROM THE ROMANCE STUDIO--"The constant action and adventure made this a very enjoyable read. If you loved the movie 'Romancing the Stone' this book will be a treat for you."
RT Reviews--"Deception is the watchword in Chambers' thriller. The action is fast moving and the characters intriguing."
NIGHTS AND WEEKEND REVIEWS--"A wild mixture of National Treasure and Indiana Jones."
FIVE STARS--GOODREADS--"Savannah Rutledge Unlocks Pandora's Box When She Takes Her Father's Secret Map and Loans It To Her Boss For Display For A Southwest Fest And To Save Her Job, But Instead of Crowing With Delight She Was Running For Her Life With Murder Charges, Her Disabled Father Murdered, And A Zorro Stranger Kidnapping Her! A One Hundred Year Old Secret Has Been Released And It Refuses To Get Back In The Box!"
Time of The Eleven
Now Available on Amazon!
The Time of the Eleven
A daring prison escape in Mexico. An explosion in the Hague. Tourists disappearing in Scotland and the Sahara. Reporters murdered or reported missing. Seemingly unrelated incidents. Or parts of an ingenious terrorist plot? After her fiance mysteriously disappears, Kiley Prescott has a chance encounter with a seductive stranger in Mexico. But who is this man? FBI agent Peter Rushing is sure her new lover, handsome Armand Rachet, is really the notorious international terrorist, Gabriel Roca, suspected in a series of devastating bombings overseas. After Kiley learns Rushing was fired from the FBI, she fears he is hiding something even more sinister. The chase for the truth takes her cross country, from Washington to Chicago, Las Vegas, and finally San Diego, where Kiley learns the deadliest secret of all--everything is timed to happen at eleven. Eleven men. The eleventh hourof the eleventh day of November, 2011. It is "The Time of the Eleven."