This is a new feauture on The Writing Hufflepuff, called: The Discussing Hufflepuff. This won’t be weekly or monthly, just whenever I think up a good subject for discussion. I want the subjects to be mainly about writing, but I suspect reading will be discussed a lot as well, haha.
Today I want to talk to you guys about organizing. How do you keep track of all those characters, plot lines, character arcs, ideas etc.? I’d love to say I use my mind palace, like Sherlock…
But who am I kidding? I couldn’t keep organized like that for the life of me! So here is what I do do (please forgive me for this sentence).
I have quite a few notebooks (I’ve got a post about my collection coming up) and I have one for every story. I write down all the ideas I get in these, even if it happens in book 5 and I’m only working on book 1. I also write down dialogues that I don’t want to forget (I’ve got quite a few pages filled in my notebook for The Chosen Ones with future dialogue), character bio’s, family trees, (future) plot lines, plot twists… Just everything that comes to mind that I don’t want to forget!
Evernote may be one of my favourite things in the world (after books, writing, food and a few other things of course), as it allows you to create ‘notebooks’ and make seperate notes in them, which you can also tag. It’s really easy to use and find your notes. I use Evernote for character backgrounds (as they can be quite long to write and typing is faster and won’t hurt my hand) and to save my research notes. It’s also awesome because they have an app so you can work on your phone and you can log in on any computer that has Evernote. And if it doesn’t- you can just log in on the website.
I also type out all my notes from my notebooks, just in case I need them and I’m away from home without the right notebook.
I have one awesome folder that I use for all my stories, as it has tabs. I don’t use this folder for my notes, but for maps of towns, mind maps, inspirational pictures etc.
Right now there are only some inspirational quotes and a picture of David Tennant telling me that I should be writing on my cork board, but when I’m writing I put up some notes that I need to keep in mind, the map of Hellburgh etc.
If you haven’t heard of this website, go check it out now. I have several (hidden) boards for The Chosen Ones (and other stories) where I pin (save) pictures for inspiration. It’s a great website for writers, trust me.
When I say Inspiration, in this case I mean the awesome mindmapping program (I got my license from school, I don’t know if it’s free, but otherwise I’m sure there are free alternatives!). I make mindmaps to keep track of my characters and their relationships, but I’ve also created a time line, which is quite useful.
You can find it here.
I use Powerpoint to make calendars for my stories. In these I keep track of when every chapter takes place, but also birthdays etc.
This is the calendar for January. The 1,2 and 3 stand for the chapters taking place during this month.
So that’s how I keep track of everything! Do you do any of these things? If not, what do you do? Share it with us!
– The Writing Hufflepuff