Oh, the mind of a writer. If you’re like me, you have ideas swirling in your head all the time. Currently, I’m working on my first full-length novel.
I’m also writing down ideas, information, clips of conversation, and any other exciting thing that comes to mind for my second book.
Then there is that other manuscript I have started that will eventually be my third book. Has this happened to you? You have so many ideas you don’t know what to do or where to start.
How can writers keep their ideas organized? It can be a little hard to figure out. Everyone has a different system, but this is what works for me.
Each Book Has A Folder
Each one of my books has a folder. I keep everything from beginning chapters, acknowledgments, Bible verses, a letter to my reader, etc. inside. I also keep any research notes in there as well. I make sure I have a hard copy of everything.
An Electronic Folder For Each Book
I also keep an electronic folder for each book containing the elements above. It makes it so much easier than having to search through documents and downloads on my computer.
Sometimes I sit down and outline five to eight chapters at a time, sometimes only one or two when I first get started thinking about a book. However, it is a great way to keep organized while you are writing. It’s nice to have a reference as to what events are going to happen in each chapter.
Here are some other ideas on how to keep your thoughts organized that I have learned from other authors but have yet to try.
I have a friend that interviews her characters. She sits down makes a list of all the questions she wants to know about them and then comes up with their answers. I find this to be a unique idea about how to flesh out your characters.
One of my favorite authors, Jon Acuff, uses post-it notes on a bulletin board to map out his books. This is also a brilliant idea as far as moving ideas around to different places as well as chapters.
How do you keep your ideas organized? Do you have an out of the ordinary system you use? Please let me know in the comments. I look forward to learning from you.