Rather to my own surprise, my Amazing Scene Plotting Plan appears to be working. Although I don’t really have much of a sense of how I’m going to write each scene yet, making myself stop and consider exactly what the characters are wearing or how they feel has been much more useful than I imagined. True I have to keep going back and rewriting my list of scenes drawn up from the outline, but I’m telling myself that’s the point. I’m sketching out the details of one scene and an idea for the next pops up. Already I am a long way from my original plan.
I have made so much progress that I have a rapidly growing pile of pages of completed notes for each scene. Clearly, this meant I needed a special ring binder to put them in, and a trip to Staples was justified – hurrah!
In fact, today’s haul was relatively restrained: as well as that file for the scene notes, I came out with a goose-shit green coloured ring binder (for mythical research notes, I thought), two packs of pens, colour-coded punch pockets (not sure what I can possibly code, but still), padded envelopes for posting out books (no book out until November, but they won’t go off), two ink cartridges (on special offer, rude not to) and a pack of different coloured plastic document envelopes which I am sure will be terrifically useful, and the fact that I already have one for my passport is neither here nor there.
I love stationery stores. Invariably I go in needing one thing, and emerge laden with inessentials like this. Stripy paper clips. Fluorescent files. Multi-coloured file pockets. Dinky clear plastic boxes. Bulk supplies of sticky tape. Funky metal in-trays. Fat marker pens. Highlighters! I even found myself contemplating a Dora the Explorer lunch box today.
When I’m in Staples, my inner secretary blossoms and I imagine a perfectly organised office, where everything is carefully labelled and colour-coded. I get quite sulky when I realise that I really have no use for a staple gun or one of those machines that makes labels, and therefore cannot justify either as an expense against tax. I was actually a very efficient secretary and I sometimes wonder if I should have carried on as an administrator. Ironically, at home my office is a tip. Every time I come to the end of a project, I vow to reorganise my study, but somehow the task is too daunting and I never get beyond clearing my desk, feat enough in itself.
For now I am ignoring the mess around me and will spend a happy few minutes punching holes in my scene notes and ordering them in their smart new file. A top time-wasting exercise, but it feels like work. Of course, the time will come when the file is full, and then what will I do? Oh, yes, then I’ll have to start writing …