what project management has taught me about writing…

I’ve had my head in various project plans for most of the last 12 years.

In my current partition job, I’m there again.

I’ve always looked at project management a little differently to the purists- those who know me won’t be surprised by this…I look for my mini rebellions where I can find them.

Anyways, I do the usual project things up front- determine my scope, end point and CTQs- those things that are critical to quality.

Then I go to the end and work backwards.

What has to happen immediately before the end, what dependencies hang off that, what are the possibilities around this? This helps me get my milestones- then I fill in the detail.

Using Scrivener I’m writing my nanowrimo book in the same way. It’s an experiment- part of the let’s see if this idea’s going to fly scenario.

I have an opening chapter- that’s given me my scope.

I also have an ending.

Now I’m working backwards.

I’m 18,000 words in and so far it seems to be working.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning it out- I’m way too Piscean for that, but the general theory of working backwards is what I’m talking about.

Sure I’ll need to go in and fill in the detail around sub-plots etc etc, but using Scrivener takes the guesswork away from remembering what chapter certain events occurred in, or when names appear.

Rather than writing as I read, ie what comes next, I’m thinking about what could possibly have come before.

It’s an interesting change of perspective.

Comments

5 comments on “what project management has taught me about writing…”
  1. Debbish says:

    Wow, almost starting at the end is an interesting concept. I must also have a look at Scrivener to see how it works. When I started working on a Young Adult novel as part of a course I was doing, I used the snowflake method (via an excel spreadsheet) and found it useful.

  2. Interesting idea, and probably not as silly as it sounds when you think about it.

  3. Zohra says:

    I think that’s really innovative Jo. It’s certainly one way I never thought of! Well done you.

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