Recently I’ve been asked both in my real life and on line about how I keep my ideas organized. If I use outlines, note cards, spreadsheets, etc. What writing program I use is the other biggie I seem to get asked a lot and well, the answer is really one and the same.
Yes, I said it’s the same thing.
Now, before you roll your eyes and huff at me for not giving a real answer, let me explain. You see, I use Scrivener for Microsoft Windows and love it. It makes my life so much easier as it comes ready built to handle all the things I need for organizing my writing projects.
Having said that, NO, I do not outline. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. Trust me, you would not want to read a book from me that came out of me outlining and trying to stick to said outline. It. Would. Not. Be. A. Good. Thing. I promise. Yes, I know how to outline, but my characters seem to think it’s a challenge to their story if I do and they will then do everything they can to derail the nice neat storyline I had all set up. (Asshats! Everyone of ‘em.)
Well, I can’t honestly say that’s all I use, lol. I do have a nice little spreadsheet that has all my story ideas, past, present WIP, and future plans listed. I play around with the order planned and fill in bits of info (like the MCs and if they’ve appeared before) as I write. But, I don’t have a ton of programs and folders out there. I don’t have pretty paper and neat pens (this part makes me sad as I used to love writing longhand. Sadly, due to Ehlers-Danlos messing up my hands, I’m doing well to type most days—writing only consists of me signing my name to a check or the likes :/ )
I’m curious though, what do you use to organize your projects? I know most of my readers aren’t also authors, but that’s fine, lol, I’m still curious. How do you keep your work from becoming the kind of clutter that will drive you insane? Getting Scrivener and using it each and every time is what saved my sanity. (That and having it autosave to DropBox so I never lose another partial manuscript again.)
Now you know how I write… though not necessarily how I keep my sanity (who said I was ).
I’m off to finish up Fangs with a Heart, book 2 in the Chain of Fate series. If you haven’t read it yet, check out book 1: Whiskers of a Chance.
Share you ideas in the comments below.