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Why ‘Cranking Plot’?

Those of us who have been on the Internets for any amount of time have heard of Dave Allen, and his book Getting Things Done. That book and the methods inspired by it are the key to cranking plot.

The name of my blog comes from one of Dave Allen’s own terms, cranking widgets. This is his basic unit of productivity. It is a very low-level concept. Instead of seeing a project from the 10,000 feet high level-that is, everything at once-we drill down and look at the project in terms of the individual movements (the ‘cranks’), the next steps toward the finished product. It suggests daily action.

That’s the idea behind my blog. Who gets anything done if they pick it up, work on it a little while, and put it back down for months? Writing a short story or a novel is a long process, and it involves multiple steps. Regular work is the only thing that will get the job done.

This whole regular work thing…I’m terrible at it. I’m just the guy that will set down a project and leave it to grow cold. That’s a bad thing, a very, very bad thing! 

Cranking Plot is about plugging away. It’s about not letting the momentum slow. It’s thinking about writing in terms of project. It’s getting down to the putting-one-word-on-the-page-at-a-time level of work, that is, the work that actually produces. It’s Getting Story Done.

FYI, there are some things about Dave Allen’s methods that won’t work for me, with all due respect to this productivity guru who has changed the concept of organization for many. Chances are people who read this blog will either agree with me or disagree. Some will say “Wow, GTD is the best thing ever!” while some will say “I like this and this, but not this.” And that’s OK. Check out all the Internet links about GTD and you’ll see that opinions vary all over the place. That’s while I will be periodically posting about different flavors of productivity and how they may be usable in your writing carreer. It’s a way of educating myself about all the different methods out there, keeping it real!

So, how do I crank plot? That will be the subject of a post in the near future, and I’ll also reflect on the myriad ways in which to crank.

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