1. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    What does your writing file look like?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by CraniumInsanium, Jun 28, 2014.

    And how do you organize/categorize each story. I got woken up early today, figured I'd write and shook my head at my file. 54 documented starts a page or more long in my Directory of Works In Progress, and several I haven't written descriptions for.

    Heres an example of how I break my Directory down and what my writing folder looks like :p

    -Amnesiac (novel)

    A young man is wants to forget his troubles. What he gets though is more than he bargained for when he wakes up with no idea where he is or why everyone else has the same problem in the city he does. They don't know anything about themselves.


    -Atomic Andy (novel or short stories)

    Inspired by Watersons' Spaceman Spiff from the Calvin and Hobbes comic, these are the chronicles of Atomic Andy, fearless space explorer with trust gamma gun and mongoose companion seeking out justice, the conquering of cowardice and the forces of boredom in the universe.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I have it like this:

    >Stories
    This is in my main Documents section. Within that folder I have sub-folders divided into genres like so.

    >> Children's, Fantasy, General Fiction, General Mysteries, Historical Fiction, Historical Mysteries, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi, War, Western

    Within these folders of genres are where my stories are located. I'm OCD when it comes to detail and organization, so this helps me a lot.
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have five folders:

    Ideas: a separate document for each idea and notes (if any). Most are just titles and/or MCs.

    WIP: Each has a separate folder, with each new chapter having a separate file until it's finished, when it's incorporated into the rest of the story. There's also a sub-folder for research done.

    Completed stories: Each has a separate file, sorted by title.

    Photos: Any that I found interesting, to use for possible story 'prompts'.

    Research: All research I've done for past stories, filed by subject so I can re-use the information in other stories if I need to.
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That actually isn't a bad strategy. Mind if I copy your idea?
     
  5. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Yes, we mind. It's a copyrighted use of a writing folder. You need to pay an upfront fee to gain access.
     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    All right then, I won't use it. Just wanted to make sure. :D I'll just stick with what I have, thanks.
     
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  7. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    Agreed about it being a good idea. I actually had a similar system where its my "creative" file under a weird name. After that I break the creativity into poems, fiction, lyrics, screenplays(I don't actually have any. yet) and so on. That should be a generic enough example that anyone can use that as a format for a folder layout. I'm honestly not sure if Thomas is being serious or sarcastic. I'm paranoid enough as a writer, and yes everyone's folder is individual and your creation. having a blueprint for organization never hurts.
     
  8. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    I however strayed from that layout and bulked all my stories into the fiction section. my personal preference is to write the whole story at once and see it as a whole, versus having 20 chapter(documents) that I would have to open from chapter to chapter. I do have separate folders for each story containing notes and research.

    Gotta love organization but compartmentalizing to a certain degree would get too tedious after a while lol
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Well, I don't want to step on any toes, so if they don't want me to use their idea, I won't. :)

    Still, I was thinking of making my stories folders just a tad bit more specific. Maybe a research folder and a brainstorming document in each of the story folders?
     
  10. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    My system is freeware :D

    And I don't have a separate file for each chapter except while I'm working on it. Once it's completed, it goes into the one main story document and the original is deleted. So - Main story, current chapter, research. :)
     
  11. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can't say I'm a fan of folders. I still currently use them, because Windows Explorer isn't as robust as Microsoft's SharePoint, which I've grown very used to from work. I'd much rather use filtering, sorting, and grouping while keeping all my documents in one place rather than needlessly create a maze out of my file structure that becomes a chore to navigate. Thankfully Word does allow tagging now, so I can simply tag my stuff and search for it instead of having to dig through my Documents folder and all its subfolders. The recent documents list helps, but it only holds so many. I tend to play with lots of documents in a day.

    That said, my current structure simply has a folder each for Completed Fiction and Unfinished Fiction, and in each is a folder for each work. Each draft is a separate file, but each draft is also only a single file. I never break up my novels/stories into separate files. I may also have a file for notes, depending on the project. I've needed those files less and less.

    Hopefully someday I could just open Windows Explorer to a view showing all my documents tagged as "active" while hiding all the rest. Someday.
     
  12. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Anarchy. I've got various stories and various parts of stories at different stages across different computers and drives. It's madness. My filing system is... not even a system. I have a thumb drive with the latest drafts of my current project, but when I need to find old drafts, old notes, or want to revisit something I started, it's a mad hunt through everything. Even notes on ideas are labeled in such a way that I have 15 different files across all my drives that read Sample notes1, Sample notes draft, sample notes blah. Frankly it's embarrassing. With my film scripts I'm genuinely not sure where the very latest version is located, so often when I continue to edit I edit the wrong draft and lose the last lot of changes!
     
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  13. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm extremely organised with my writing files, because I have numerous projects and research, so I'd never find anything in there. Master folder titled 'writing' contains subfolders titled 'research', 'resources', 'pictures', 'projects' and so on. The 'projects' file holds it all, so this is subdivided according to the projects, such as 'short stories', 'novella', 'detective novel', 'non-fiction'. Within each are single Mac Pages files in Outline mode (collapsable paragraphs) containing first draft, another would be an outline, scene plans, a synopsis, and folders for novel-specific research and pictures etc.

    I don't keep track of tiny changes within a draft, I let them flow and change naturally, but if I like something that needs to be removed, I put it into sections called 'snippets' and 'alternative chapters', because I often can use them later. Other than that, I keep all my chapters in one file and I don't save separate chapter files unless I'm printing for a beta-reader in manuscript format.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
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  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    If I had to choose only one thing to help keep files in order, it's to ALWAYS put a DATE on THEM. The only time this can go haywire is if you make several changes to a file on the same date.

    I store my novel's files in a named folder (name of the novel—Brothers) on my Mac. Inside that folder I've got separate folders for Research, Timeline, Planning and the novel itself divided into three sub-folders ...Brothers Part 1, Brothers Part 2 and Brothers Part 3. It's a long novel, and this splitting into three sections makes updating my backup copies easier.

    Inside each of these Part folders I've got a separate folder (named) for each chapter (Chapter Seventeen.) Inside each chapter folder I've got the dated version I'm currently working on (Chapter 17, 07-06-14) and a separate folder for all my previous discards of that chapter (Chapter Seventeen Discards. ) And another for any notes pertaining to that chapter. (Chapter Seventeen Notes)

    When I start to revise, I simply duplicate my most current dated version, drag one of the copies into the discards folder (complete with its date), and re-name the other copy with the chapter title and new date.

    Whenever I make copies of the entire Brothers folder on my various media, I always date the copy ...so there is never any doubt which is the current one. I back up the individual Parts whenever I make changes to any of the chapters they contain.

    The tiny bit of extra time it takes to put dates on the various versions and make backup copies will pay off BIG TIME when you need to go back and look for something.

    It's like any paper filing system. If you don't have one, you soon lose control of your stuff. But once you set it up and get it working and use it consistently it saves time and effort, and you can get on with the business of writing–always knowing where your stuff is stored, and how you can get it back if you goof up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  15. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    The problem I found with putting dates on files is simple: two years from now, when I'm looking in some random thumb-drive, how do I know 21 October 2006 is the very latest version of the script? There's no way to tell if it's the most recent. What if there is a 28 October 2006 somewhere, or even 2008! I look at the save date, but I just need to stop storing files all over the place and consolidate.
     
  16. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a single directory with a sub-folder for each title, and a sub-sub-folder for research relevant to the individual book and one more Research sub-folder for general material. I don't need any more since I only write using a single manuscript document going from beginning to end.
     
  17. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I try to be pretty organized. Since I'm a still fairly new writer, I have a lot of novels that are still WIP. So I have separate folders for each novel I'm planning (currently 5), and inside each of those I have a folder for photos and a file for ideas, character detail and description, location information, a timeline (if needed), an outline, and the story itself. I also have a folder for my short stories, which contains a folder for each separate story, that is laid out the same as my novels. :)
     
  18. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure what the technology limitations are for the Apple products since I don't work with them, but for Windows users who have lots of folders and subfolders and sub-subfolders containing files with long file names (including dates)--keep in mind that there is a 260 character limit in the path for any given file (meaning, the "C:\Folder\Subfolder\SubSubfolder\FileName.docx" path). That 260 characters includes the "C:\" and an invisible NULL character at the end, so it's really a 256 character limit. Exceed that maximum and feel the wrath of the error message gods.

    ...Just another reason to dislike folders...:whistle:
     
  19. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @xanadu: I've never had this problem on a Mac, and I have some ridiculously long folder and file names.
     
  20. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I can only speak for Windows machines, as that's what I work with on a day-to-day basis. I definitely don't know enough about Macs or other products to know what limitations they do or don't have.
     
  21. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I'm a pretty easy going guy.

    Documents/Dropbox/Writing/*Each piece I made*

    I don't bother over categorizing as I only have a dozen things or so saved so it's not complicated to get what I need.
     
  22. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Not so much organizational, but more to keep my work private on a shared computer, I have the main folder titled "Me picking up heavy things in the buff." So far, so good.
     
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  23. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Well, I guess I lie somewhere perfectly between the spectrum of OCD organised and sloth. I have folders for the type of writing--prose, poetry and role playing-- and then all my stories tossed in. Yay. Oh and if a story has multiple resources associated, it gets its own sub folder. Come to think of, not very organised. XD
     
  24. Tufty Williams
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    Tufty Williams New Member

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    I have a main folder on my laptop. Just 'Writing' in here can be random ODTs of smaller ideas. for poetry/songs they fit into a folder again of their own. The bigger projects that include chapters or a couple of word files of notes and ideas they have their own folder again.
    I'm also on the process of creating a hard and digital portfolio. All the digital stuff has the type of prose followed by folders again for things that have a few files for them.
    The hard copy is a book per each method. Stories in A4; all others in A5 and ideas/excerpts in A6.
     
  25. KatieValino
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    KatieValino Member

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    A mess?

    I kid. Mine is kind of tidy, it has those see through plastic folder things and little section headers. As for the actual writing itself, well since you never know when inspiration is going to strike I have pieces that are on toilet paper, napkins and receipts. Generally I think it is nicer than most I guess. I also have drawings in there and stickers on the cover to make it seem fancy :D
     

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