The Extrahuman Union

Leaving Notes for Myself: Why I Write Sarcastic Comments on my Manuscripts

Posted on: February 3, 2014

When I write I like to leave notes for myself. I use the comment function in Word for this, and by the time a draft is finished I’ve usually left a few hundred notes. Some of them are quite helpful reminders about plot or character, some of them are musings on where the book is going, and some of them are just me enjoying the chance to troll myself.

Here’s a few I’ve used while writing THE SEEKER STAR and THE FALLEN STAR (Grayline Sisters #2 and #3, respectively).

Note: Some of the images are NOT LARGE. Click on them to embiggen.

Some of them, I leave to give myself a sense of direction, or to remind myself of who a character is inside.

SeekerStar1

SeekerStarVioletHelplessAnger

FallenStarBethHeadGames

Others, I do to point out examples of characters behaving in ways that I think are cool or relevant.

SeekerStarVioletNoPatience

SeekerStarLivFlashbacks

Sometimes I’m keeping track of the plot:

SeekerStarForeshaaadowing

Or I’m feeling my insecurities:

FallenStarAnnoying

SeekerStarCoolTech

Sometimes I’m exploring options that I may or may not take:

SeekerStarViolet Asexual

Or I may be just getting kind of punchy:

SeekerStarBuuuurn

SeekerStarAncientAliens

I often use the notes to work on craft or continuity:

SeekerStarAgesVioletThing

SeekerStarNiceSceneBro

Or maybe I’m just a big nerd.

FallenStarJenova

In any case, this is how I write: with plenty of comments from my own internal peanut gallery. When I finish a book, the last thing I do before sending it in is to address every single comment I’ve left for myself, and then delete them. It’s sad–but very liberating.

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Susan Jane Bigelow’s Extrahuman Union

Hey! Welcome to the Extrahuman Union, home of Susan Jane Bigelow. Prepare to be stripped of all meaningful identity. While you're processing, check out more about me on the about page!

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