Posted by: Fiona Skye | 16 December 2009

Organisation

I like to pretend that I’m really organised. I add every appointment and important date to my Google calendar the instant I find out about it. Then I write it down on the big wall calendar in the kitchen. Then I email my calendar to The Man. I write lists. Oh God, do I write lists. Grocery lists, lists of names for future characters, lists of cool words, lists of movies and bands I want to check out, lists of books I want to read, lists of lists. Plus, you know, I honestly have an eidetic memory. If I read something – even once – it will forever be burned into my brain. This helps with remembering important things and with organisation, too.

But I really stink at organising my writing. I use Notepad to jot down ideas for potential stories, notes about settings, characters’ bios and back-stories, random bits of fascinating trivia that I think might eventually have some place in whatever it is that I’m writing. And I stick all of this into a catch-all folder on my hard drive, backed up to my external hard drive. There’s no rhyme or reason to these folders; they’re a big, ungainly mass of Notepad files, OpenOffice files, photos of actors I use as visual inspiration for my characters, maps and other photos of settings, and lists of songs I use while writing. I would desperately love to figure out how better to organise these folders, but what would really, really thrill me to no end would be to organise my notes. Maybe some software that organises notes according to their subject – setting, character, plot, whatever. Does such a thing exist? What do you guys use to organise your notes and other writing-related…stuff?

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Responses

  1. Does a random pile of papers collected in one room count as organisation?
    I have a filing cabinet and I actually filed a stack of would be stories in various folders with all my notes and then promptly didn’t look at any of them for teh last four years. Everything I actually use for writing is somewhere in my study and at the moment I would suggest in one of five big boxes that are going to be moved in a few weeks. Except the two current WIPs in which case all my ideas are on bits of paper and in notebooks sitting in a pile in front of my keyboard.
    I could pretend that when I unpack in my new house that I am actually going to organise but I know better than to lie to myself like that.

  2. I’d thought the same way a couple of years ago, but then found that if I set up a folder on Word with my WIP’s name, then had 10-15 files inside the folder, it worked out pretty well. One file will be named “Random,” one will be “Characters,” one will be “Plot Ideas,” etc.

    I do have a folder in Word labeled “Ideas,” too–for other writing projects.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder


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