Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Writer's World by Sandra Orchard

What a treat to be invited to share with you! I hope you enjoy this peek into my workspace.

Over the years, I’ve gone from commandeering small corners of the house to now having my own office with every organizational perk I’ve ever wanted. Like the journey to being published, my dream office took years to build.
My first investment was this large bulletin board, which I use as a storyboard. I divided it into four rows of five chapters each to see at a glance where my major plot twists should happen. When ideas come to me, I write them on post-it notes and then pin them in the general area where I think they might fit.

Along the side of the board are charts outlining the typical plot points I’ll want to touch on in the hero and heroine’s journeys.

The cupboard is great for laying out materials I’ve gathered in research, not to mention all that filing space. I love filing space, which brings me to my next acquisition…

I looooove this organizer. It’s actually a little empty since I cleared away the notes and drafts from my two now-published books. I keep workshop notes from online classes in the binders. For another series I’m working on, I use a portfolio with clear plastic sleeves to store the character, setting and plot details I’ll need to remember from book to book.

I use that spool of paper on the bottom right shelf when brainstorming. I write out ideas and connect them like a giant mind map diagram.

Of course, my desk is the heart of my writing center. My husband gave me the iMac for our anniversary last year. Isn’t he a sweetheart? It’s made a world of difference to my productivity--much less fatiguing than working on the old PC laptop and 100x faster. I use MS Office for Mac, and save my documents to Dropbox. That way, when I want to sit somewhere else to write or edit, the documents sync to my netbook.

Yes, I know. I am totally spoiled. Of course, when the days get colder, I’ll often curl up in the recliner near the woodstove with my notepad and pen, instead. Words seem to flow more effortlessly when writing in longhand.

In the interest of full disclosure: I cleaned up my office before taking these photos.

As much as, I like a tidy desk space, it rarely is. I usually have scene notes and post-it notes on every available surface…except the window. Have to be able to enjoy the view! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this cyber walk through my office.  

Have I inspired any changes to your own workspace?

Sandra Orchard hails from rural Ontario, Canada where inspiration abounds for her romantic suspense novels set in the fictional Niagara town she's created as their backdrop. Critical Condition (October 2012) is the third book in her Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense series, Undercover Cops: Fighting for justice puts their lives—and hearts—on the line.

Sandra enjoys offering her readers book “extras” to enhance their reading experience. You can check these out, along with other resources for readers and writers, at her website: or connect at:


  1. Welcome back to Seriously Write, Sandra!

    Yes, Sandra, your uber-organized work space has inspired me to make changes to my office that I've been thinking about for a long time. I even have a dream desk and credenza plan. I just need to um- shall we say, encourage? -my hubby to build it! He doesn't think he's talented, but I know better. :-)

    Thanks for an inspiring view into your world!

  2. Love your storyboard idea! I've been struggling with that myself and using foamboard. But, I bet your bulletin board is so much more sturdy. And your credenza is wonderful. A place for everything and something for every place. Just as it should be.

    I don't suppose you give organization workshops?

    1. LOL, if you saw my desk this morning you wouldn't think I was qualified!


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