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John DeDakis

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· 46 titles
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Member Since: May, 2006

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Books
· Troubled Water (Kindle Edition)

· Troubled Water

· Bluff (Paperback Edition)

· Bluff (Hardcover Edition)

· Bluff (Kindle Edition)

· Fast Track (Kindle Edition)

· Fast Track (Paperback Edition)

· Fast Track (Hardcover)


Short Stories
· Metro Tableau

· My First Kiss

· Raquette Lake

· Soul 159 (The Long Version)

· Soul 159

· The Wren


Articles
· Wow

· Behind the Scenes in a Troubled Newsroom

· Who Should Direct the Movie of my Novel?

· Why I'm a Man Writing as a Woman

· I'm Afraid to Write!

· Advice on Writing a Novel

· Ode to a Mentor (or Letter from the Grave)

· Hope Can Spring From Tragedy

· Whittling it Down

· Dealing with Criticism: Some Suggestions


Poetry
· Metro Girl

· Garbage Day

· Cemetery at Sunset

· Of Frosted Flakes and Southern Comfort

· Half Our Lives Ago

         More poetry...
News
· From Novice to Novelist

· Workshop for Aspiring and/or Struggling Writers - Wisconsin

· Wow

· Behind the Scenes in a Troubled Newsroom

· Who Should Direct the Movie of my Novel?

· Why I'm a Man Writing as a Woman

· Can a Man Write Effectively as a Woman?

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Books by
John DeDakis



Troubled Water (Kindle Edition)

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Kindle, more..




Troubled Water

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Bluff (Paperback Edition)

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Amazon, more..




Bluff (Hardcover Edition)

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..




Bluff (Kindle Edition)

Buy Options
Amazon, more..




Fast Track (Kindle Edition)

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Amazon, more..




Fast Track (Hardcover)

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Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..










Blogs by John DeDakis

5 Ways to Stay Organized While Writing a Novel
5/19/2009 8:35:13 AM
Some lessons I'm learning along the writing path:

1. Create a Master Plan Document: This is a living, breathing, evolving document. It contains a Daily Writing Log, plus my plot outline, key pivot points, and a brief summary of each chapter.

2. Keep a Daily Writing Log: For the sake of simplicity, I put it at the top of the Master Plan. The log documents each writing session by date and time. Nothing elaborate here, just a few quick notes of what I hope to accomplish and how my thinking/writing is evolving. It's a narrative history of how the book is being created. I can easily find my place because in all caps and in big, bold, bright red lettering I put the words, THIS IS WHERE I AM NOW. I just scroll down until I see red (so to speak) and then add the next entry.

3. Keep Track of Changes: As the story unfolds, the chapters in my Master Plan change, but rather than obliterating the old, I merely add the new information along with the date I made the change. By doing this, I'm creating and preserving the history of how the story evolved.

4. Create a New Folder for Each Draft: "Fast Track," my first novel, had 14 Draft Folders. My new book, "Bluff," to be released later this year, contains 8 Draft Folders. For my current novel - still untitled - I'm only on Draft #1.

5. Give Each Chapter a Name: Each Draft Folder contains the individual chapters - a separate file for each chapter. Numbering them keeps them in their proper order (1.1, 2.1 etc. For the second draft, the numbering sequence is 1.2, 2.2 etc.) But just as important as numbering, is giving your chapters titles. I don't mean a title that will ever see the light of day in your book - it's merely a memory prod so you know at a glance what's contained in the chapter. This way, you don't have to keep opening files later to find what you're looking for. (NOTE: Chapter numbers and titles may change from draft to draft because you'll probably be making lots of alterations, including reordering the sequence of things and breaking big chapters into several smaller ones.)

Final Thoughts:

I find that it's more efficient to write the novel straight through rather than continuing to loop back to make each sentence perfect. Why? Because it gives me a sense of accomplishment -- a realization that I can actually do it. It's purely psychological, the thinking being, "if I've already 'finished' the book, then the rest of my time is spent merely tweaking it."

Knowing up front that the first draft will suck takes the pressure off. The first draft serves mainly as exploration. As I write my third novel, I'm discovering that while my Master Outline has given me the story's scaffolding - the big picture - by writing individual chapters I'm, in effect, zooming in for a close-up in which new, and often unexpected, characters sashay on stage.

Some of the chapters consist almost entirely of dialogue - almost no tags, no action, no description. That will come in subsequent drafts. For now, I'm just writing as fast as I can what I see in my head.

My way of staying organized is certainly NOT the only way, so I think we'd all benefit to hear what works (and doesn't work) for you.

Thanks!

JD


Comments (1)

More Blogs by John DeDakis
• Ode to a Mentor....Or Letter from the Grave - Thursday, September 23, 2010
• You Should Write a Book - Wednesday, April 21, 2010
• Ever Feel Inadequate? - Tuesday, April 20, 2010
• Change is Good - Tuesday, February 23, 2010
• Overcoming the Fear of Rejection - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
• Beating Writer's Block - Tuesday, October 27, 2009
• What a Manuscript Editor Does (and Doesn't) Do - Monday, September 07, 2009
• Confessions of a Cross-gender Writer - Saturday, July 04, 2009
•  5 Ways to Stay Organized While Writing a Novel - Tuesday, May 19, 2009  
• Writing for the Ear; Writing for the Eye - Sunday, May 17, 2009
• Plan a Little; Write a Little - Friday, May 01, 2009
• Building a Novel - Friday, April 10, 2009
• Writing a Screenplay - Tuesday, February 17, 2009
• VICTORY! - Wednesday, January 07, 2009
• A Creative Setback...and Opportunity - Wednesday, May 14, 2008
• Heading to the Inca Trail - Saturday, September 15, 2007
• Solving the Time Problem - Thursday, April 05, 2007
• Simmer Mode - Saturday, March 31, 2007
• The Art of Flitting - Friday, February 02, 2007
• Brooding - Monday, January 29, 2007
• Scene Building - Sunday, January 14, 2007
• Getting Stuff Done - Tuesday, January 09, 2007
• Connecting - Sunday, December 03, 2006
• Making Revisions - Friday, December 01, 2006
• In Search of Balance - Sunday, November 12, 2006
• The (sort of) Daily Muse - Thursday, November 09, 2006


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