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All Things Writing > How do you organise your writing

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message 1: by Carry (new)

Carry | 38 comments I'm a very messy person, but I try to keep my writing very organised. I use scrivener, but I also write in notebooks. Using two kinds of things (paper and digital) makes organising quite a chaos, especially since I have to be able to share almost everything with my co-author. Since I'm writing a fantasy, it requires a ton of world building.

Anyone have any great organisational tips? Or how do you organise your work?


message 2: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
When I wrote my first novel, its one of three, and its friggin huge I made alot of spider graphs and powerpoints to keep the characters histories together. I didn't do this until I was editing however. Since i tend to just write all in one go lol. Since I've been using Scrivener alot of my older problems seem to have disapeared.

I also have the wall above my pc covered in post its :3


message 3: by Kay (new)

Kay (aceraven) | 41 comments As someone who also writes digital and on paper for the same story I invested in a scanner so that I could keep it all digital. I use Evernote a lot for notes and idea capture and then move the texts and scans into the notes section of Scrivener. It's an extra step, but it's useful for me.

I'll put it out there I love technology so I like to find tools that make my life easier. I write on the go a lot (because I hate sitting at the computer) so I look for apps. Until last Friday I only had my iPhone but my family shocked me with an iPad so I'm exploring possibilities there now. Even though Scrivener doesn't have an app yet there are some apps that can sync with it. I use Index Card for outlining and PlainText. They sync over Dropbox, which means I can work on them anywhere. Since I like to work on multiple machines I find that pretty cool.


message 4: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Barnes | 86 comments I'm thinking I need to look into this Scrivener you are all talking about. I use OneNote as I go. Writing down the characters as I find out about them myself or timelines. I am horrible with timelines. I'll figure them out then lose the paper and have to do it all again, or realize that the time line I have really doesn't work so have to redo it.

I also have a folders for each story filled with bits and pieces I write for background or something that comes to me that may not be right where I am at in writing. Get it out of my head. I also write in comp books or a small journal that I keep in my purse when I'm away from a computer.


message 5: by Rick (last edited Aug 25, 2013 11:39AM) (new)

Rick Soper (RickSoper) | 169 comments I mentioned in a different post that I outline every story before I begin, but I also have Apple Number's spread sheet that detail specific characteristic of all the individuals within the story that include: Name, Height, Weight, Hair color, Eye color, Physical Build, Job, Home location, Car/Transportation details, then specific note on what makes that individual unique. I further group the individuals within their associations, which means in The Rock Series there is a band, so all the band members are listed within a heading called the Band, The Russians are in their own group, The FBI Agents in their group and so on. Like most writers who are starting out, I have a regular job, which means I get distracted from being able to write for days and weeks at a time, so I need to have the outline and the character descriptions to be able to get back into the groove of writing. Plus sometime I can get a little random in my thought processes and those tools help me recenter myself. And as I said with my outlines, my character descriptions are a fluid document that changes often as I add or delete characters that come up within the context of actually taking the outline to the page.


message 6: by Carry (new)

Carry | 38 comments @Kay ooh I have a scanner... why did I never thought about that :O I feel so stupid now!


message 7: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I love having all these nice gadgets to write with >:3

Although i think i can look like an octopus at times :p


message 8: by Kay (new)

Kay (aceraven) | 41 comments @Carry - I never really thought about it myself until I made the decision to go as paperless as possible. It's really nice and it keeps my shelves organized. Once I had over a dozen three inch binders on my shelves that held school notes from University and then I had more binders of writing ideas and other stuff. Now it's all nicely organized and easily found on my devices. I keep many, many backups in case anything ever goes wrong though.


message 9: by J (new)

J | 301 comments Mod
My organization is utterly horrible because I type some, write some on paper, type more, and so forth. I'm trying to get more organized with Scrivener. Plus I like to make hard copies for editing, so that adds more to the mess. I think I catch ideas more easily when seeing the text on paper. Don't worry, I'll recycle those sheets----someday.


message 10: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I've already destroyed a large part of the amazon myself so I wouldn't worry too much Josh :x


message 11: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) I'm too OCD to truly organise my writer, because I will genuinely spend more time organising and filing than I will writing. Most of the time, I'll have two Word documents, one with the "working" version of the MS, and another with notes/summaries. Occasionally, I'll scribble something in that (in the Word sense) and what I'll often do is, if I get an idea on the bus or in bed, jot that down on e-mail and then copy that text into my notes document.

I downloaded Scrivener a few weeks ago, and even though I found it easy to use, I actually can't bring myself to use it. It's too organised, and again, it has that OCD part of it where I know I will spend more time actually doing the organising than pulling it together.


message 12: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I actually think Scrivener killed off alot of my note taking, which is good because it was boarderline procastination :p


message 13: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Fridge (adrianfridge) I think the best part about Scrivener is I can have multiple screens open at the same time (eg scene list, character bios, actual composition, brief reminders, and metadata) without slowing down my cranky old laptop. I abuse the Snapshot feature, which saves old versions of my text in case I ever want to cringe at past drafts.


message 14: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
" I abuse the Snapshot feature, which saves old versions of my text in case I ever want to cringe at past drafts."

Lol! Yess :p


message 15: by Michael (new)

Michael Pearce (michaeltinkerpearce) | 91 comments How do I keep my writing organized? I have a good memory. For names, words in other languages and such I'll scribble notes on paper.

I keep the MS in a folder on my desktop, and when we get to rewrites I send a copy to my coauthor with a name indicating where we are at- DoaDRrewrite, DoarDRedit, DoaDRpostedit etc. I keep all the obsolete copies in the folder for no particular reason.

Everything gets backed up on an external Hard-drive.
So scribbled notes and labeling copies based on where we are in the process. That's pretty much it.


message 16: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) I obsessively back-up too: there's usually a copy on my work computer, a copy at home, and everything gets saved to Dropbox too (that's another reason why I don't use Scrivener too much...can't install it on the work PC.)

My usual save is "XNAME Working Date-I-started-writing." Second draft gets the exact same file name, but the date will obviously be very different. I'm a lot more comfortable with that than draft one, draft two etc etc.


message 17: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I have about a million hello kitty shaped memory sticks :x


message 18: by SteinFussel (new)

SteinFussel all these things are the reason that I am so freaked out about continueing my novel writing. Songwriting is so much faster and more paper saving. :D

But I envy you guys who can keep up with it! Haven't figured out how to use Scrivener properly yet.


message 19: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I only use the binder option :3 ctrl K whenever I want to make a new section or break it apart. Simple but effective:3


message 20: by Carry (new)

Carry | 38 comments Do you gusy use Scrivener for Mac or Windows? Mac has a couple of more cool features but since I do not have a mac I'm stuck with the Windows version. I hope they update it soon so they all have the same features.


message 21: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I have the windows version, btw I don't use all the features. just the simpler ones :3 I find Mac keyboards hard to type with for some reason :/


message 22: by Carry (new)

Carry | 38 comments Hmm okay :P I don't like mac...

I just thought of something: if you write small pieces of conversations/train of thoughts or sentences that you might use later, where do you guys put them? I write them between my drafts in my notebook but I tend to forget all about them :/


message 23: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I write them on post-its and stick them on the wall above my computer, I write in different colours matching what the note is for (characters, different stories etc) I also write on my phone when I need too :3


message 24: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Schwarz (curiousworlds) | 2 comments I have Scrivener and a journal. Sometimes I want to compose on a keyboard and other times I want to write things out by hand. Anything I write by hand, I try to type in within 24 hours. I still use Word a lot combined with Dropbox. That's where I keep finished projects and sometimes drafts so that I can work on them from any computer.


message 25: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I always try to type hand written things in asap, otherwise i feel i lose the flow for it :3


message 26: by Carry (new)

Carry | 38 comments I have no wall to put post-it's on :( I want a giant cork board! Though no room for it :/


message 27: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
Hang it from the ceiling somewhere :D


message 28: by Carl (new)

Carl Bisky: hello kitty memory sticks. Lol!

All ideas, notes, lines and poetry is written in big notebook. It's a mess. Then I type it & revise. Notebook allows me to go back and see choices.

Prose is usually written longhand like poetry. Not with the latest project I'm word processing as I go because characters are surrounded by machines and technology that doesn't work all that well. I use a Dell laptop for word processing.


message 29: by Carl (new)

Carl *But* with...


message 30: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I can almost type as fast as I think because you need it for playing the videogames I used to. You can't take forever to shout orders while the orcs come swinging axes :p So long hand just slows me down :3


message 31: by Carry (new)

Carry | 38 comments I just discovered Scapple! It's amazing to make mindmaps and things like that with it...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvP6c7...

I'm currently trying the windows beta version for free... for those who want to try it: (mac only has a full version, which isn't free):

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/for...


message 32: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
nice! :D


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