1. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    How do you organize your work?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TimHarris, Mar 1, 2013.

    The thought struck me when I had a friend over last week. She wanted to see some of what I had been working on, and as I browsed my folders where I store my work, she asked the question. What she asked what somewhat along the lines of. "Wow, that is a strange way of organizing your work. Why do you do it that way?"

    I had never really thought about it before. On my hard drive, I have a folder dedicated to writing, which I guess is fair. Within, I have split it into folders for my novel, the short story contest on this forum, and other stuff like lyrics, poetry and a catergory I have named "other". Nothing wrong with this. What struck her as odd though, was the way I organized my own novel.

    In my novel, I have three different characters. I have a folder for each of them, and within those folders, I have a separate text document for each chapter with that character. The chapters are named with a name and a number (John (1), John (2), etc), so I can sort them chronologically later. Within my main folder, I have a folder named Research, and within that, I have subfolders depending on what I research (horses, weapons, physics, etc etc)

    In addition to this, I have an excel spreadsheet where I keep a list of all my chapters so I know in what order my chapters will be in the final story. (John 1, Lisa 2, John 2, Mike 1, etc)

    So that got me thinking. How do you organize your work when you write? Do you just keep one large chunk of text in a single file? Do you split it into chapters? Do you use some kind of software to keep track?
     
  2. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    I have character info, setting info, plot info, continuity info, future scenes, and just general notes. I also keep track of plot holes I can't solve right away, which makes it easier to solve multiple plot holes at once with one cohesive idea. I used to navigate it all in one large document, using Word's navigation pane feature, but I just started using Scrivener, and it lets me put all this, my old drafts, my current draft, any and all research info, all into the same SCRIV file. Much easier than having a hundred different word doc's scattered about my computer.
     
  3. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I must be the most unorganized person ever...

    I have my planning for the whole novel on one document (Plot, summary, ideas and character profiles) and the actual novel on one document...then my short stories are scattered somewhere over my 'back up' folder...eherm. I used to have an actual folder....but I've not gotten around to making another since I got a new computer. Might get around to making it now lol

    But I think keeping it organised will be more beneficial for you in the long run :)
     
  4. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    What ever works for you is fine, some like it a mess some like to label everything
    I like my room messy but my PC neat and clean and everything to be in labeled folders...
     
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  5. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I organize my writings in one big folder with the title of the story as the file name and then i save that to a flashdrive.
     
  6. Shadywood
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    Shadywood Member

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    Agree, whatever works for you, keep with it! My style is to have colour-coded files and pens for plot ideas, settings, characters, maps, certain aspects of research, etc. I still enjoy writing by hand for a lot of the planning and research. I save my work in chapters, but I have a folder full of all the excess stuff that comes with the writing.
     
  7. TracyH
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    TracyH Member

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    I have the outline of my novel saved in my Yahoo email, seperated by major plot developments. This way I can access it from any comp, and will never lose it. The actual novel is on my laptop hard drive, filed under it's name, and broken up into chapters. I back up my hard drive every two or three days.
     
  8. niallohagan
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    niallohagan Member

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    I have my novels on word documents. Anything else related to it is handwritten in a file
     
  9. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    I just save in my documents and usually save the story map, the outline, and the draft under the same name

    - x outline
    - x story map
    - x draft
     

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