Wednesday, August 6, 2014

#WWW Finding Balance with Sticky Notes #WritersLife Sandra Dailey @sdaileyauthor

Finding Balance with Sticky Notes
By Sandra Dailey

I’ve been given many labels; over organizer, micromanager, nit-picker, etc… I own every one of them. My mother explains it best – I’m a typical Virgo. Everything around me must be in perfect order.

The clothes in my closet are organized by type of item and color. Everything stored in my kitchen cabinets that are multiples, (such as glasses, cups and dishes), are in even numbered amounts. If one gets broken the set is replaced.

When my children were at home, they’d misplace pictures and knick-knacks before I came home from work. Then, they’d secretly time how long it took me to have them back in place.
Yes, I’m the person who will rearrange the dishes in your dish washer, the bottles on your bathroom counter, and the pillows on your sofa. I’ll let you know if a picture is hanging crooked and stare all day at one that’s not hung in perfect line with the others. I don’t get a lot of invitations.

I use the same principle in my writing. My hero, heroine, and villain have to have equal page time. My romances must have a balance of humor, drama, and seduction. My suspense/mystery stories need an equal sprinkling of clues, red herrings, and threats.
I do envy those people who can open their word processor with a single idea and write whatever comes to mind, but you can see why this doesn’t work for me. So, how do I achieve my balance? Sticky notes – several of them in different colors.

I divide my story into three sections, beginning, middle, and end. I plan what I want to happen in each one. Then, I start with just the beginning. Here’s where the sticky notes come into play. I write scene ideas on each piece with the POV noted.

·         Clues-pink paper
·         Red herrings-yellow paper
·         Threats-blue paper
·         Heroine-blue ink
·         Hero-black ink
·         Villain-green ink.

Why sticky notes? They are laid out on my large dining room table on a plastic table cloth and I don’t have to worry that a strong breeze will ruin my work. I can easily move them around to add, rearrange and achieve perfect balance. Then, the outline is transferred to a notebook which stays by the computer on my desk.

This may seem time consuming to some people, but I find it saves me time. I spend approximately one afternoon planning and outlining each section. Most of my time is spent filling in the scenes on the computer. I don’t usually have to go back to do a lot of rewrites. If I do want to add or change something later, I can quickly find the scene in my outline.

Did I mention that I’m a typical Virgo?

My newest release is COMMON ENEMY.

Jordan Holbrook is the single mother of a five-year-old daughter. She’s just inherited her Grandmother’s house in South Florida where she’s hiding from an abusive ex-husband who’s been released from prison early. A new man in her life isn't part of her plans.

Connor McCrae is a handyman who lives out of his van. He walked away from a privileged life and loving family after being badly scarred in a vicious attack. He doesn't believe a woman’s love is in the cards for him.

What brings them together is a rundown house, a mutual attraction, and a Common Enemy.

Bobby Ray Butler is cutting a path of murder and mayhem through south Florida in his quest for vengeance. His sights are set on his ex-wife and anyone who gets in his way.

Buy links:


Sandra Dailey lives in North Florida with her husband and house plants. She has four children, ten grandchildren, and a goldfish named Clementine. She has a passion for needle crafts, reading and writing. Her addictions are chocolate, coffee, and football. She loves to hear from fellow readers and writers. Her first two books, The Chief’s Proposal and Twice the Trouble are contemporary romances and also available in eBook and print. She is currently hard it work on Close Enemy and a couple other surprises.


  1. I also organize my clothes by type and color. If my eye is drawn to a color, that's what I wear. Sometimes the combinations are odd, but then, so am I. I enjoyed reading Common Enemy! Best wishes with your release.

  2. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl, but have found when writing I need a better approach. Thanks for sharing this. I've been struggling with too many rewrites and plot issues. I might try the sticky note thing.
    Oh and the organized thing you do with the closet and dishes sounds like a lot of work

    1. The sticky notes are great. You can move them around. The closets and dishes - it's a habit. Thanks for dropping by, Marlow.

  3. Sandra, an organized closet is good. I'm compulsive that way. Your book sounds great.