Organization: a Key to Writing
One thing I’ve been pretty bad with when it comes to writing my novel is organization. I have a sweet TARDIS journal I got for secret santa a couple years back that I tried to use. Only it was hard to keep flipping back and forth between pages, and my character list/chapter organization changed so much that it was all over the place. It came to the point where I just didn’t use it anymore. Now it’s proof of how much my WIP has grown, but I still need a way to keep everything organized…
What I did was search the good ol’ internet for ways to document my characters so I could at least describe them better (because I tend to be light on the descriptions to begin with, and when I don’t remember everything about a character, that diminishes even more).
I found one chart that seemed to work well for my main characters here. There are a couple areas that were missing though, like hair color, race, sexual orientation, gender, etc. But it worked until I realized that I didn’t need that kind of detail for my secondary characters.
Now that I knew what I wanted and what worked/didn’t with the other chart, I just created my own! It’s mainly focused on appearance/personality as I didn’t feel it necessary to come up with too much back story for most of the minor characters.
I feel much better now about my character organization, to say the least. I’ve even decided to use pencil to fill out the charts in case I realize that I needed to alter something for things to fit better.
But that leaves some other areas open to improved organization: setting & terms. I’ve created a map of my setting which I reference almost every time I sit down to work on my WIP. But I need something more for the physical appearance.
For terms, I’ve attempted a sort of encyclopedia before, but it just turns into twice as much work when I sit down to accomplish anything.
With that, I’m asking for your help. Do you have any nifty tricks to keeping setting or terms organized? Something better for characters? Leave a comment!