1. UnrealCity
    Offline

    UnrealCity Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Australia

    Chaotic Story Notes?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by UnrealCity, Jul 16, 2013.

    How chaotic are your story notes?

    Do you keep everything in one place with dates and times, or do you scatter all of your notes around and store them weirdly in folders?

    How do you keep track of all of your ideas?
     
  2. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    For my current project, which has involved extensive research, I have two 5-subject notebooks. Some sections are for research notes, others for story notes. For each chapter, I have a real-life timeline, notes on the major characters and brief character arcs. As my project unfolds and I go back to recheck things and do additional research, I find I can't keep things as I had originally organized them, so cross-referencing is becoming a bear (in fact, that's how I spent a good part of this past Sunday).
     
  3. Youniquee
    Offline

    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Under your bed.
    My notes/ideas are just one long long list on word on my planning document. Yeah, everything is just lists, really. I wouldn't say their organised since there's so many ideas I probably won't use but I have to scroll through them all xD I wouldn't see the point of doing dates and times though lol
     
  4. Yoshiko
    Offline

    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    27
    I keep a log of everything I do on a project, starting from the day I begin researching. It was a habit I got into while working on film projects and it's transferred over to my writing.
     
  5. doggierule
    Offline

    doggierule New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I keep mine in a Word document, as I hate writing things out by hand, and I usually organize the ideas and research in the order of how it'll fit into the story. I tried using a notebook once and write out all my ideas by hand, but it got so chaotic because I couldn't easily erase an entire idea and put it in chronological order as I came up with more ideas, so it's a mess of arrows and side notes that's hard for even myself to follow.
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i add them to a document of 'ideas for xxxxx' that i keep in each project's file... i print it out when working on the project, for easy reference... when some element of the list is used, i check it off or line-through it...
     
  7. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,728
    Likes Received:
    4,826
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I used to write notes on whatever scrap of paper I could find. I'd meticulously date the notes and identify which project they applied to (I usually work on several at once), but they were all over the house and I could never find the ones I wanted.

    Three years ago I started carrying a little Moleskine notebook in my shirt pocket everywhere I went, and all my notes went into that. Much more organized! Also, earlier this year I started using Scrivener, and that makes note-taking for each project much easier. So now I'm on the Moleskine-Scrivener Notes Plan. We'll see how it works long term.
     
  8. maskedhero
    Offline

    maskedhero Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    America
    I usually write them on loose paper, and then often lose them, since I can't seem to keep track of all of them in one place. Shame really...But if something sticks with me, I usually start doing something with it. Then, the notes seem to fade away.
     
  9. Steve Day
    Offline

    Steve Day Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    PA
    Ideas that arrive in the middle of the night go on a 3x5 card next to the bed.
    During the day, sheets of paper, on clipboards, around the pottery studio.(2 floors, 3000 sq. ft.)
    When I am awash in a sea of paper they get edited, and go on virtual paper.
    When my virtual desktop is so littered I can no longer get on line, they get put into folders.
    When the folders threaten to duplicate the above scenario, they go in other folders.

    Sometimes, I work on the novel.
     
  10. jmhoffer
    Offline

    jmhoffer Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Winterpeg
    I'm too chaotic to even write it down. I let things constantly evolve in my head until I write it down in the story. World development changes until I'm happy with it, but the ideas bounce around in my head until they hit paper in a story. Then they rarely change, and continuity relies on what I've already written.

    I wish I had those chapters of that fantasy story I'd written so long ago. I had people that had no interest in fantasy wanting more. I find that this way of writing makes my story feel less like it is some sort of planned out epic and more like a real life struggle.
     
  11. kburns421
    Offline

    kburns421 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    14
    Oh my gosh, I'm ashamed to even admit how chaotic my notes are for the novel I've decided to write. I haven't even started writing, and I already have about 30 different word documents of notes, plot lines, little snippets of scenes in my head, sentences, character descriptions, and more. The worst part though is that they're not organized in that there's one document for each thing. One might have the first plot line I thought of and some random sentences that came to mind. Another might have half of a slightly tweaked plot line with part of a scene written out and one sentence about the MC. Another might have part of a character profile. Another might have my to do list for the day with random character info under that. I don't recommend doing things this way.
     

Share This Page