Douglas L Perry, The Author blog

August 4, 2009

Powerpoint Scene Guide

Filed under: Books,Writing — douglaslperry @ 10:15 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’m using Powerpoint to critique the scenes of my latest book. Lots of the pro writers use a system similar to what I am doing, but they use colored index cards.

Lisa Gardner at Thrillerfest talked about how she does her rewriting and editing. After each draft, she creates an index card for each scene, and lines them up based on chronology and character. This gives her a high level view of her book so she can see if there are flaws in character development, plot, or other issues with the book. She uses different colors to represent different characters, whether the scene is moving the plot along, or the scene is meant to do character development.

A few other authors have blogged about a similar technique.

I started to try it myself, but then I realized, I’m a geek. I can’t use index cards. That’s like 19th century technology.

Instead I brought up Powerpoint and I’m creating a text box for each scene. I plan on lining the vertical edges for chronological scenes, and each row to represent a different character. I’m not sure how well this will work, but so far it seems to work better for me than a spreadsheet.

What do you use to organize your scenes?


  1. That’s a good idea! That way you can shuffle the scenes/slides around to see what works. I hadn’t thought of that. I may have to try it for myself out one of these days.

    Comment by dianegallant — August 9, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

  2. That was the plan, but I quickly switched to Excel because it just took too long in Powerpoint. That way I can add a bunch of columns to contain other information such as is this scene plot, or character development.

    Hey at least I am still a geek. 🙂

    Comment by douglaslperry — August 10, 2009 @ 4:29 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: