Keeping It Together

If you’re like me, you need an intervention. No, not with drugs, alcohol or gambling, organization!

My desk and files are an organizational nightmare! I’m not the most disorganized person I know, but I’m close. Being an author with O.D.D., (Organization Disability Disorder), I’ve come up with a couple very simple tricks.

Since I work on more than one story at a time, I’m juggling characters and story lines. To keep myself straight, especially with minor characters, I keep a three ring binder with sections and tabs for each story. Using the file name from the computer file, I write it on the tab. On one page, I keep a list of characters, all of them, no matter how small a role they play. On another, I keep a list of chapters and their page numbers. It’s very easy to continue writing until a story is complete, but it’s good to give the story some natural stopping or slowing places.

Every author has to do research at some point. Although I bookmark pages on my browser, it’s a horrible mess. Despite my best efforts to do better, it’s still a mile long and a disaster. To combat that, I print out the pages of research that I need, complete with the web address, in case I have to go back. These, I punch and put in another three ring binder. I keep it within reach so that I can find what I need.

I have in mind to tag the pages per story or at least per subject, but I haven’t gotten that far. That’s my goal – though it may be next year before I get it done. These are very easy things for any writer to accomplish. Even for the clinically O.D.D., there is hope!

Below is another way I keep my characters organized. I keep a card file on my desk of all the main characters – and several recurring or important secondary characters. On each card, I do the following:

Front ~

Name:                                                                                       Parents:

Book Title:                                                                               Siblings:

Boy/ Girlfriend:                                                                    Age:

Children:                                                                                 Coloring:

Family: (cousins, aunts, uncles, cousins)                Series: (If applicable)

Back~

Job:

Also In: (if they are a repeating character)

Friends & Co-Workers:

I also list if the story is finished or unfinished.

Dellani Oakes is a not quite completely crazy author of Indian Summer, Lone Wolf and The Ninja Tattoo. Indian Summer – historical romance and Lone Wolf – futuristic romance are available from Second Wind Publishing. The Ninja Tattoo – contemporary romantic suspense, is available from Tirgearr Publishing.

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2 thoughts on “Keeping It Together

  1. Pingback: Keeping It Together | Dellani Oakes

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