Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Too Many Bits of Paper

Well, as I world build, culture build, identify and develop characters, possible plot arcs, develop possible plot arcs into sub-plots and plot-points, further refine such sub-plots and plot-points into a series of instances, re-develop characters in line with current thinking, strengthen culture, jot down points of history, consider architectural norms, draw maps, jot down notes for revision of prior chapters in Book 1 I find myself in a sea of paper.

Post-It notes, loose sheets, loose sheets in plastic sleeves, random notes, precisely laid out notes, computer documents, printed documents, notes on pads, lengthy detail on pads, detailed write ups of notes in a booklet with the cover ripped off... I'm sure the answer to what I seek is around here somewhere but where? It's enough to make me want to rip out my own hair!

How do I file it? I try to gather it up, but if I print it too early, then I'll just need to re-print it. I can file it in my physical folder but what about the soft copies on the computer? Where do they go? What about the sub-sections? How do I divide it up to make it easier to access? How do I rememebr what I've written down, i.e. with characters? In short, what do I do?

Anyone else been there?


  1. LOL! I don't have much hair left to rip out!

    I'm a bit of an organisation freak. I find some kind of notes lend themselves to electronic form, others to pen & paper, and I keep both kinds side by side rather than try to go all one way or the other. I'm evolving a scheme for my notes, which involves a small collection of electronic documents with specific purposes (such as plot outline, setting and character notes), and a hard copy binder for maps and other schematics.

    Whenever I jot down rough notes, I try to clean them up and transfer them into their proper home as soon as possible then I stuff the jottings into a binder in case I need to refer back to the original idea. But I know that all my latest thinking is relatively organised.

    As if :-)

  2. I'm getting to that point. I think I've gotten together all that I can but I keep going 'to print or not to print'. Is it revised enough? But if I delay too long, it'll get deleted.

    I also have a binder. I have a specialy art folder sitting on stand-by if ever I decide to start collecting pictures but I guess I'm just not very visual because I've never much used it. I have maps but I just draw them on regular A4 pages.

  3. I guess that's that's the difference then. I am very visual. All the same, I deliberately keep most of my maps and diagrams to standard pages for ease of filing. They are working notes, after all, not works of art :-)

    I blogged about this a while ago here.

    As for printing out what I've got online, I don't usually bother unless I have a specific need (such as reading through and marking up revisions). Otherwise I'm happy to refer to and work on stuff electronically.

  4. I just know that I'm bound to lose it! So I like to do a big print out of all the research information so that I can have it all in one place rather than spread over a dozen documents / drives / computers, etc.