TODAY BY NUMBERS:
Total number of words on The Language of the Unheard: 52,251 (yeah, I haven't worked on it at all)
Rejections of Finding Innisburg: 0
Books read in the last week: 9.25
Entries into the library's drawing for a Kindle: 3
Well, first off, for anyone who has been keeping track, I passed my state nursing assistant exam on Thursday, so I'm officially a CNA. Yay!
So today I want to talk about organizing. Yeah. I know. Writers are not really known for their organizational skills, but I have finally won the battle against the random scribblings on pieces of paper and it's all thanks to Microsoft OneNote. Here's what I do; feel free to share your own triumphs or struggles below.
I have a OneNote notebook entitled "Writing Info." Into this notebook I throw everything I think might ever possibly be useful in a book. I have tabs across the top that are labeled: Writing Tips, Novel Ideas, Short Story Ideas, Characters, Tidbits, Settings, Screenplay Ideas, and Contests.
Some of them are pretty self-explanatory, but I think my favorite one is Writing Tips. I love to read writing "how-to" books and articles, and often a sentence or an idea will catch my attention, so I just copy and paste it right into that section. The section is divided into various pages: characters, plotting, outlining, etc. and I just stick it where it belongs. Then, when I'm brainstorming ideas for a new book, I read through all the ideas, incorporating each into my book. I sincerely believe doing this has greatly increased my writing abilities and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
In the tab labeled "Tidbits" I just put interesting things that I run across that aren't going to turn into a stand-alone book or story (probably). Right now in there I have a link to the Wikipedia article on numbers stations (which, even though they've been used in Lost, are really interesting), a quote I once read in a tabloid article about Johnny Depp that I felt would be perfect for a character to say someday, a few ideas for titles that have no stories to go with them, and on and on. Someday I feel sure I'll find a home for them.
The rest of the tabs house pretty much what you'd expect, and I suspect, if I were to combine them all, that I have over a hundred separate ideas and thoughts in there, not counting the several hundred writing tips I have accumulated.
So tell me, how do you organize your ideas and thoughts for future books or stories?