On Organization

Update: please be patient with me, I know that I still haven’t posted the next chapter of tNEW, I will soon.

So. Organization.

I am a very messy person. My room can only stay clean for a few hours. My school binders are in constant disarray. My homework can range from perfectly, meticulously neat to chicken scratches.

But it’s not my nature to be a sloppy person. It’s just my lack of time that keeps me from being the most OCD person with straight lines or someone who organizes her binders nightly.

But when it comes to my writing, I make the time to be sure that my ideas and notes are organized. I will put something else off, because writing is like a job.

I am a firm believer in organizing your writing before, during, and after starting a project. So. Now that you’ve all had my little preamble, I have tips! Exciting, isn’t it?

The Coffee Machine’s Tips on Organizing Ideas and Writings And the Like:

  • Note Cards are Your Best Friends. Use them. For everything. If you’re a plotter like me, use them before starting a project by writing out key character details, plotting out important scenes in a script, numbering them to keep plot points in order, etc. Use them after, when reading over your manuscript/screenplay/whatever, use them to take notes about important events about what happens in each chapter/scene/whatever, so that you know what to cut or move or keep.
  • File Folders. I would recommend having one for each project to keep track of notes, extra pieces of paper with little ideas, and note cards. (Don’t forget to binder clip or paper clip loose paper together. It would suck if they got lost.)
  • If It Helps, Try it J. K. Rowling-styleIf you click the link, you’ll see that J. K. Rowling uses (among other things) a simple grid on notebook paper to outline the chapters. Try one of these bad boys on for size, and then stick it into your file folder.
  • Unclutter Your Thoughts. Organization is about more than just with your writing, per se. It’s about making sure you’re in the mental state to write to the best of your ability. Refer back to my Drive-by Knowledge Bomb on Emptying Out the Stupid.
  • Try Out a Story Board. I use a paint canvas, the large kind that has a wooden frame. I paint the canvas with some cool colors, write ‘Impossible’ or ‘You Really Screwed This One Up, Mate’ or ‘FAIL’ across it (because I’m a fan of tough love), and then, using note cards and tacks, I put up my note cards in the order in which they should appear in my book/script. Just a suggestion.

That’s all I have for you all today. Hopefully you picked up something useful. (:

As always, you have my love.



13 comments on “On Organization

  1. I love that post on emptying out the stupid. Your teacher is brilliant. And what’s even more fun is to use all that stupid stuff. Just because it’s stupid doesn’t mean it’s useless, after all.
    These are good tips, but I can’t say I’ll be using any of them soon, because I’m a mental plotter only. If I plot on paper or on notecards or whatever, I’ll feel restricted. But my mind is as ever-changing as dragon breath; one minute it smells like cheese and the next it smells something like fried blubber. So I’ll plot mentally, then change at the last minute.

  2. Wow, this post came just in time. (:
    I was just about to start organizing this small paragraph for an English class! xD Thanks for the writing tips, these are brilliant!

  3. I don’t organise ANYTHING. All my school stuff is in a big pile on the floor, and I kinda just go along with it when writing. It’s spontaneous and inventive and magical when you do that. Order sucks goat cheese.

  4. I’m about as organized with my writing as I am with my room. For my trilogy I used one notebook and on various pages I doodled outfits, wrote lists of chapters and a timeline. It’s unordered and sloppily written but I don’t even use the notebook. Ha. So much for organizing. I love your tips, though. Maybe I’ll try using them this November.

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