In my latest Scrum for Writers post, I write about continually improving my writing process with the Sprint Retrospective.
Using Scrum for writing fiction means reviewing the work every Sprint and adapting my story plan. Here’s how I do it.
I do not write in the evenings. Most days, I’m so drained by work that processing language is difficult. Reading brings little pleasure, and I don’t retain much of what I read. Playing games and watching TV feel like a waste of time. When bedtime rolls around, I’m frustrated because I feel like I’ve wasted my time. Often, I stay up late trying–and failing–to make something out of the remains of the day. That leads to more frustration. Worse still—I start the next day fatigued. It’s a classic self-reinforcing feedback loop.
I can’t do anything about the fatigue caused by work. I’m a consultant and a trainer. Listening and talking are literally how I earn my living. I’m not in a position to retire yet.
I can’t stop working, but neither can I dampen my creative impulse. I wouldn’t do it even if I could. I’ve decided to try an experiment: use my evenings to learn to draw. I bought an iPad app (Procreate 5) and a Udemy class on drawing. I would like to become proficient and drawing from life and from my imagination. Cartooning appeals to me but I want to explore everything the course has to offer.
The drawing that accompanies this post is my baseline. This is what I can do now, before starting the class. I’m actually pleased with it. It is a reasonable approximation of what was in my mind when I started. I like that hair left ear peeks out from her hair–some is tucked behind and some falls in front.
This is the best I can do, now. I’m going to enjoy getting better.
It’s not easy to see how all the pieces fit together when using Scrum for writing. This week, I pause my exploration of the mechanics of Scrum to elaborate on how the Goals and Backlogs can be made visible in “Using a Scrum Board for Writers.”
I continue to explore using Scrum for writing fiction.
Crafting a Product Goal will help keep you focused throughout the duration of creating your work.
Once you have a Product Goal, you can use it to develop your initial Product Backlog.
Coming soon: Sprint Review and Sprint Retrsopective!
This week’s flash fiction on Medium was inspired by a prompt to write about two people who have such a close relationship that they can almost read each other’s minds. I chose not to write about two people in love, but two coworkers who are strongly simpatico even though one is ambitious and the other is not. I hope you’ll enjoy reading “Simpatico.”
For the past year or so, I’ve been using the principles and practices of Scrum to manage my writing. The most valuable change has been to adopt a Product Backlog as a middle ground between a detailed outline and total seat-of-the-pants plotting. In my latest Medium piece, I describe how it works.
This week’s piece on Medium is a vignette I wrote in response to an exercise prompt: describe a happy marriage. Meet “The Garveys.”
On Medium, I wrote about how I’m using Boyd’s observe-orient-decide-act loop to drive character and plot development in fiction.