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Yes, I may be procrastinating (see last post), but I really enjoyed this blog by Stephanie Kuehnert about using Scrivener. It made me think about how I write, as opposed to obsessing over how much I’m writing, which was a welcome change. While I’ve tried various writing programs, I always seem to come back to my tried and true methods of using non-writing programs to help me, while using plain old Word for the actual deed. Here’s how I organize my writing:

  • I use OneNote to keep my notes on each book. I divide them up in notebooks, with a general Names & Places page, then tabs beneath that for each character, listing hair and eye color, etc, along with any descriptive quotes about them from the story. I also have pages for things to get back to/remember, research, future plot twists, and other books in the series.
  • I use Excel spreadsheets to list out story ideas, write outlines (when I actually do an outline for a novel, which is rare), and keep track of submissions. On my spreadsheet of ideas, I list possible titles and a tagline, then let it go until I need a new project to work on. I’ve found this to be a really effective way to get around the “But I wanna write this now!” syndrome I inevitably come down with at various points in a novel’s progress. The idea is out of my head but not lost, written down but not written out, and I can get back to my current WIP.
  • I always upload my work to Google Docs at the end of the work day. By doing that, not only can I be sure it is safe from household catastrophes, but it also makes it easy to work on multiple computers, in case I’m somewhere else the next day.

So there you have it. And now, I really must get back to actually doing all of the things I just talked about….