In my day job, I manage several people with a variety of strengths and weaknesses. As I coach them through their current roles in preparation for future roles, I tell them to draw on their strengths and work or their weaknesses. I, myself, have always had a tough time in staying organized. In order to keep that in check, I use folders and lists. I write lists for everything in my day job. And if I don’t, it most likely won’t get done.
This weekend, as I sat down to write this blog and work on some manuscripts, I realized that I carry my organization from my day job into my personal life and my writing. As I comb through a draft of a paranormal I’m writing, I list out plot areas I need to connect better, characters I should develop and parts of the work that just don’t make sense and need fixing or nixing.
Admittedly, I do realize that if I plotted my works before hand, I might not have to go through all this trouble in the rewrite, but I’ve tried that before and it doesn’t seem to work for me—at least for now. Most of the time I don’t follow my original plot and then I end up doing the in depth rewrite anyway.
Well, of course my love of lists and my aim for organization got me thinking about what others do to keep themselves organized. One of the most difficult things about writing a book is the fact that the more complex plots are hard to keep straight. I’m sure you’ve all picked up a book, read it and then been unhappy due to plot holes or a story that just didn’t flow/make sense. These come as a result of an author being unable (or forgetting) to tie all the strings together.
There is no need for these types of books. There are tons of plotting tools out there and quite frankly, that is what critique partners are for. Or, if you lack access to either of these currently, go ahead and try lists or creating a table in excel to keep your story straight. What about you writers out there? How do you stay organized? Please feel free to share any recommendations.
Happy writing this week and see you next!