How I Organize My Stories
Hey guys! I hope you're all having a great day. Today I am talking about organization, specifically how to keep track of everything that goes along with being a writer. You know what I mean. The endless lists. The sticky notes. The notebooks. The cue cards. And all those loose sheets of paper. It's a nightmare if you lose something completely and a nightmare if you just simply can't remember where you put it. There's also the dreaded horror of not writing a detail down at all and having it lost forever because you forgot what it was. Hopefully, you'll walk away from this blog feeling much better than the vibe the rest of this paragraph gave you.
If you're getting serious about your writing, or just serious about your sanity as a writer, my number one recommendation is to buy a two inch ringed binder with end pockets. Do it right now. I call mine a story binder, but you may have heard it called a story bible. Simply put, it's a storage place for all things writing. Min has everything from hand drawn maps, outlines, brainstorming, snippets of my books, lore, character sheets, poems, and even writing exercises from old english classes. If it has to do with writing, it goes in the Story Binder. Now, if you're writing mutliple stories, you might want to go even further by making dividers so you can easily find the info for the story you want to work on. My dividers are just hole-punched coloured paper. It's that simple.
Now, having a story binder means that there is no excuse for missing information. If you come up with any facts about your character or world, write them down and put them in the binder. It will save your life later when you can't remember what colour Jane's eyes are or what year the war ended or if the desert borders this city or that. Keep your facts all in one place. You may have notes scribbled elsewhere too, but it's a good idea to keep a master copy somewhere so you know where to find the info at the drop of a hat.
Here's another tip. Labels are your best friend. Label everything, but do so coherently. Don't give something an arbitrary name that will make little sense three weeks from now. This is especially useful for documents on the computer. Anything I have that has to do with Silent Night is prefaced with the title so I have documents like: Silent Night - Draft 1, Silent Night - Beta Questions, Silent Night - Finance, and so on. This makes these documents super easy to find. I also use folders. Everything to do with Silent Night goes in the Silent Night folder. Each project I have has a folder on my google docs and eventually I will have separate story binders for each of my series. As of right now, The Guild Trilogy is the only one with its own binder.
So there you have it. That's the gist of how I keep track of everything going on in my head. Let me know if you found this helpful or if there's anything you do differently that you think I and others should know about. Keep an eye out for my next post (topic yet undecided) and as always, keep writing!