1. jmh105

    jmh105 Active Member

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    Organizing your work on paper (i.e. ideabooks)

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by jmh105, Nov 18, 2015.

    I plan to organize specific details about characters, interactions, settings, plot progression, and any miscellaneous ideas in one big place--an ideabook (as my creative writing teacher calls them) or notebook. As far as notebooks go, dividers would be ideal, but what about...
    • highlighters/sticky notes
    • bookmarkers
    • running out of space when dedicating a page or so to one character, for example.
      • as far as dividers go, what if I had three (one for characters, another for plot progression, and another for settings or miscellaneous ideas) in one notebook I buy, but didn't know how to go about subdivisions for specific characters, etc?
    What have you done/what would you do?
     
  2. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I always use Word documents so I can re-arrange the information more easily, or add extra context between two pieces of information instead of having either to cram tiny notes in between the margins or to navigate different pages to find all of the disconnected notes.
     
  3. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Re the sections and dividers and running out of room, you could organize a paper notebook like a lab notebook, with an index and continuation pages. I Googled on "how to use a lab notebook" and got this page from Rice, which seems to be a good enough explanation:

    http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~bioslabs/tools/notebook/notebook.html#entry

    I suddenly really like the idea. I may be sending off for a lab notebook after I post this post. Or maybe three--one for gardening, one for sewing, one for writing.

    Huh.

    Huh.
     
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  4. jmh105

    jmh105 Active Member

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    Writing your notes down has its own uses! Organization is more fluid if you have room to write in the margins, add in doodles, etc. There is a certain charm to paper notes!

    @ChickenFreak, indexes and page numbers seem like a good idea! I'm glad you were inspired in this thread. Be sure to show me how you use the book if you decide to get one! :D As for me, I'll try to play around with different things. Perhaps I can jot all notes into one notebook, and then organize them into a single "lab notebook" and add continuation pages if necessary.
     
  5. AASmith

    AASmith Senior Member

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    I don't organize at all. I "organize" by spending a lot of time thinking about my story and how I think i want to tackle the next scene and how i want the story to progress. I don't make out lines or any of that stuff because I find that it limits me. It seems to work well for some people though. As i write, I can change the course of my book like that! If i had an outline then that would mean re-writing my outline to fit my new story progression. That would drive me nuts. I have tried doing outlines before and it never worked well. I ended up getting bored with the story and finding it hard to progress through certain parts
     
  6. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I do most of my organizing on the computer, so I can move and expand as needed.

    I do have a notebook, though, just a standard spiral-bound 8 1/2" x 11" book like students use - I sprang for one with a thicker cover so it's sturdy enough to write on without a desk. It's where I jot down my "brilliant" middle-of-the-night ideas, and also where I brainstorm and try to map out plots when the computer method isn't working.
     
  7. Siena

    Siena Senior Member

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    A wall. Post-It notes. Separated by chapters.
     

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