The website /Film reported on Friday about author J.K. Rowling’s method for organizing her books. Using pen, notebook paper, and a simple grid, she plotted out the direction of her stories. Pictured here is the chart for chapters 13-24 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
(Note: /Film includes a larger version on their site for detailed reading.)
The grid outlines the chapter, month, chapter title, explanation of how that chapter relates to the over-arching plot of the book, and then columns for each of the book’s six subplots (prophecies, Harry’s romantic interests, Dumbledore’s Army, Order of the Phoenix, Snape and crew, and Hagrid and Grawp). Like the /Film post’s author, I believe that Rowling likely used more organizing tools in her story preparation. However, I think it’s wonderful to see how an author planned out her story before writing it.
When constructing memos, documents, short stories, novels, or whatever it is you’re writing, do you map out where you’re going and all that you want to include? Could adopting a method like Rowling’s help you to be a better organized writer? I’m certainly taking a few tips from her method and applying it to my own work. I’m thoroughly impressed.