Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Getting Organized

Have you ever felt really disorganized in your writing life? I admit to have notebooks stashed everywhere and a bunch of half-started ideas on my computer. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with my ideas, and don't know where to even start. I really don't have a problem coming up with story lines, it's following through and finishing the book that I have to work on.

I belong to a little group of writers who make goals every week on facebook. My goal for this week, besides writing 5,000 words, is to get organized. So ... I'm going to get a few more notebooks, sticky notes and folders to put in my empty writing file and hopefully I can get more organized.

Sometimes when I'm in the middle of writing a book, I forget some important detail about one of my characters. Then it takes me a bunch of time to figure out what it was, searching through stuff I've already written to find it. I'm going to make sure I have a notebook for every book I write that has every detail about each one of my characters in that story. It will be so much more helpful to me! Right now I'm writing my fairy tale sequel. I've jotted down my outline, (Shocked? Yes, me too.) and synopsis, character sketches and blurb ideas. I think I'm set to finish my book by the beginning of November. That's when my first draft will hopefully be done. I'm loving my second book more than my first, so that's a good sign. I'm about 60 pages in, so hopefully I can keep going!:)

What do you guys do to stay organized?

Oh, and check out this review of Not Your Average Fairy Tale by Clean Romance Reviews!

Also, this review over at Krista McLauglin's blog! :D

16 comments:

Kyra Lennon said...

Haha, I may be one of the most disorganised people ever, but I am trying hard to fix it! I recently bought a bunch of notepads and post-its to help me stay on track. Yeah, they may still be unopened and unused, but it's a start, right? :D

YAY for writing your sequel - I am excited about it!!

Meredith said...

I'm not the most organized person, but I try to keep a journal for every WiP. Mostly filled with freewriting. I need to do more complete character profiles, too!

Patti said...

I'm still working on being organized. I've decided to start naming my documents with dates, so I can figure out what is the most recent one.

Stacy Henrie said...

Congratulations on your new little one! :)

I heard someone talk about having a series bible, which I thought was a great idea for what I'm working on. I've done the same thing - having to scroll back through a manuscript to find an eye color, etc. This way I've got those details in one place.

E.J. Wesley said...

Just did a complete office reorganize for this very reason, Chantele. Just seemed like I couldn't find anything but my keyboard--maybe a good thing for a writer, now that I think about it! lol

Congrats on the great review, btw!

EJ

Tobi Summers said...

I've discovered I'm a much more organized person electronically than in real life, so I try to keep all my notes (except the random ones I think up in the middle of the night) on the computer. I use a program called Evernote, which syncs to my normal computer, has a web version so I can access it from any computer, and has a mobile app so I can use it on my phone. It lets you create notebooks and tag things, so I have different tags for characters, plot, and notes. I'm terrible at remembering the details of my own stories, especially the character descriptions like you mentioned. I'm working on a template for my character notes that includes all that, so I can find it in a few clicks.

Also, I really like spreadsheets. I mean, really, really like spreadsheets. So I use a lot of spreadsheets. Most of them are probably not necessary. :-)

S.P. Bowers said...

I generally have a separate file for people, their names, hair/eye color or the basic things that are important. I also generally have a time line so I can keep things straight. That's about it.

Donna said...

A couple years ago I got an awesome deal via a price mistake at Walmart - composition notebooks for $0.05 a piece. I bought A LOT of them. I have notebooks for shopping lists, for chores, for moving, for book ideas, etc. And they all have one or two pages written and then they are forgotten. My notebook fetish creates extreme chaos. However, I have started using Microsoft OneNote and I love it for my WIP. It is similar to Evernote mentioned above. I love that I have a mobile app for it so if I have a brilliant idea while I'm out and about I can quickly add it and when I get home it is on my computer.

Good luck with getting (and staying) organized.

Samantha May said...

I have the exact same problem AND I'm a notebook hoarder. Notebooks. Are. Everywhere. I have a folder for each WIP and in those folders are tons of looseleaf paper. As I'm writing I'll make bullet point notes about each chapter so that I can go back and review them later.

It might be weird but it works for me. And hooray for sequels!

Nicole said...

Congrats on the review! I also have notebooks and post-its scattered - er, I mean strategically placed - throughout my writing space. Honestly, I think that works better than an actual organization system for me. :)

Stephanie McGee said...

I'm a little organization-obsessed where writing is concerned. I have project binders. Usually it's one per book, but with the stuff I'm working on now, they're all set in the sam fantasy world I created. So I have two binders to cover everything I need. When it comes to the computer stuff, everything is nested. Docs inside folders inside folders inside folders and on and on.

It works for me.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I feel just like you! I have more ideas than I have time to work with them. Any tips on getting a brain uncluttered?

Angela Cothran said...

I'm still trying to figure out how to be organized. If you find a key PLEASE tell me :)

Emily R. King said...

I'm a fairly organized person. Everything has place, a time in the schedule, and a priority level. The biggest part of staying organized is deciding what's important and what isn't. In order to write, I let some things slide one day, then make up for it the next (usually laundry). :)

J. A. Bennett said...

Wahoo! You go girl!! I know whatever you do will be awesome!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'd love to ask you more about this actually because organization has been a huge flaw of mine. Can I email you? Or have you found some advice/system you can direct me to ?

I swear once upon a time I was smarter, but it's like my head is frazzled all the time now and organization is out of my grasp :)

Jill