Organizing Novels

I make a ‘bible’ for each of my story ideas. I put each one in a hanging file. This means I have two file drawers of writing but its worth it to me. (read former post)

It’s a pretty simple formula. It has to be because otherwise I won’t do it. I start by writing out the idea by hand on paper. I date it. Then I write out ALL of the details that I’ve thought of and date each page. I stack the pages so the oldest pages go on the bottom then I put each subsequent page on top. Then I punch a hole in the top left hand corner and put a brad through it so the points face up. This way I can add more pages as I add more to the story. As I write I take notes. I include why I chose to go this way rather than that way, and where I was going next (if I know) or questions about what I should do next. I date each set of notes and include my word count from when I began and ended working. This is to inspire me to keep working. At the top of each page I write the place the file is on my computer and the perspective that I’ve chosen to write the story in (e.g: First person/past tense)

To actually keep track of the chapters I use a document map on word (I have an older version and the newer versions call the document map something else) it helps when you go to edit or check something in a former part of the story.

That’s mainly what is in my ‘bibles’. I tried creating character lists but I didn’t find them useful considering what a pain they are to make.

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