[Writing] Organization

Since I used to spend way too much time trying to figure out how professional writers, you know, write, I wanted to throw out a blockquote – from this post by Diana Pharaoh Francis on SF Novelists – to others who might be looking to assimilate such information.

When I write, I put the chapters in separate word files and print them out as I go. This is partly as an extra backing up device, and partly because sometimes I find it easier to flip pages looking for what I’m after than digging through computer files, trying to guess just which chapter I mentioned that particular esoteric item in. I can also mark notes on the pages for later and this prevents me from going back and revising too much before I really know what I need to revise.

I take post-it notes and write the chapters numbers on them and tape them to the beginning of each chapter so I can flip through more easily. I put them in a binder with one of those plastic sleeves on the front that let you slide in a cover sheet. I then slide in a cover sheet with the title of the book on it.

So this is what I’ve done today. I’ve emptied the recently finished book out of the binder and bundled it up with the outline that turned out to be not so useful and the pages of notes and etc. that I had made. And then I printed out a title sheet for the new book and slid it in and have printed out my chapters for it and my (eventually useless, I’m sure) outline.

I’d probably just buy a new binder to put the new book in… nevertheless, it’s good to find out how one published author does it.


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