Thanks to leviathan12 for this topic suggestion!
People love lists. They make lists to keep themselves organized, to categorize stuff, to weigh the pros and cons of things, even for entertainment. A popular website, Listverse, publishes lists related to all kinds of trivia. When I was a kid, there were similar hard-copy books of lists. And everybody loves David Letterman’s Top 10 Lists.
I like to make lists to organize things. When I edit, I write one of all the scenes in a book, in each chapter, like this:
1. Batman kills the Predator.
2. Everybody panics because there are more of them.
2. The Mayor calls for action.
3. Joker and Batman team up to fight the army of Predators. (Hey, it could happen. Batman would do it to save Gotham; Joker would do it for fun.)
Doing this when I start a book gives me a rough outline to work from. Since I tend to write haphazardly rather than chronologically, reordering the list helps me divide the book into chapters that make sense and are a good length.
I can also make notes on the later list so I know what revisions I need for each chapter or scene. Then it might look like this:
1. Batman and Alfred invent a gas machine to kill Predators with.
a. Make Alfred have to get a part for it from some underground supplier that will enable it to work without backfiring on the user.
2. Joker breaks into the Batcave and steals it, intending to use it on Gotham’s hapless citizens.
b. Since Joker doesn’t know he can’t use the machine without it backfiring, he is in danger. Make Batman try to save him because he can’t technically kill Joker. Moral quandary here!
As I said in a previous post, please please SAVE YOUR WORK AND BACK IT UP. If you save multiple copies, make sure you update everything at the same time, too. Once I copied and overwrote a previous save, accidentally deleting a big chunk of my notes, which I hadn’t copied over to my flash drive during the last session. GAH!!!
Now you’ve seen a little bit of the inside of my brain. I hope it helps you. If you have any useful tips about lists and how they help you, with writing or anything else, please share them in the comments.