BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where the Heck Is That?

Yesterday, I had a Twitter conversation about organization when it comes to writing--specifically organization of world building information. This is when I sadly confessed that my organizational skills leave something to be desired. I try, but well, this is what my system currently looks like:

1. A folder inside my email for any notes I email to myself or to my writing buddies about my stories. I store them for future reference, but never seem to remember I have them and so almost never look.

2. A folder inside my word processing program's folder. This is for any notes from Instant Messenger or stuff I type up in WordPerfect or Word or WordPad or any other handy program. I sometimes remember to look at the IM conversations.

3. A folder inside the My Pictures folder in Windows. This is for pictures of my characters, their houses, clothes, cars, and any websites that I save. I frequently have this folder open, and when I'm on a stretch run, I'll click over to look at it. I even have the character pictures up on a personal website so that I can open it up when I'm away from home if I have Internet access.

4. Bookmarks of websites for research. Some are on, some are on my computer, some are on Google Bookmarks because that's the only one I have on the toolbar of my desktop computer. I usually remember that I have bookmarks on my computer, but remembering that I saved something elsewhere is hit or miss.

5. A notebook or notepad filled with writing. When I first start a book, I get out my notepad and brainstorm. The information is in a free flow kind of form and it's difficult to find what I'm looking for sometimes. I hate to take the time to rewrite and organize the notes because it feels like a waste, but probably that would save more time than it takes to keep paging through to find a piece of info.

6. A file folder (a real paper one) carefully labeled with the names of the characters. I even bought a label maker so that I have really pretty looking folders. Most of them are pretty empty until I get stuff back from the copy editors who type up these beautiful lists of information in alphabetical order by category. I HEART my copy editors. I wish I had my own personal copy editor to organize me while I was writing. :-)

I have actually tried about a half a dozen programs to organize all my information in one place, but I never take the time to learn how to use them and most aren't intuitive enough to learn by doing. I suppose if I kept at it, I could pick it up, but when I'm writing on deadline, I don't want to take the time so it's back to my old data in 6 locations method. My memory might be lousy when it comes to life stuff, but so far it's pretty good when it comes to my books--at least the recent ones. :-O