The main reason for this blog was to not only inspire me to complete the first draft of my novel, but also to somehow discover if other people were having the same issues as myself.

Today, I was trying to get ahead of all the various bits and pieces I have lying around for my story that don’t actually involve writing and it made me realise just how much disorder there is.

Let me explain what I have been searching through today;

  • Three notepads (one for each book of the trilogy) – these started off as places to store notes, but have since been relegated to reference material.
  • A single graph pad that contains bits of maps and city areas for the story.
  • Four pages of A4 stapled together covering the timeline (there is a lot of travelling in my story and it is written from various viewpoints meaning I have to make sure that each chapter is at the correct ‘point in time’ of the story).
  • Various pages of notes on my Nexus tablet that I’ve written whilst I’ve been reading

Ok, that isn’t even before I get to the novel itself.  Currently it is around 80,000 words – some of this is in draft chapters and some of it is in extended note format.

  • Scrivener project for the story, this includes sub-areas on the following
    • Chapter notes
    • Character notes
    • Sub-plot notes
  • Compiled and exported copy of novel in Word format (I use this mainly for edits, but also as a backup just in case something goes wrong and Scrivener eats my work.
  • Offline copy of novel on USB pen-drive just in case something goes wrong and Word eats my work (NOT as updated, as it should be).

Is that considered extreme?

I do realise that I am an outline writer (really!) and some background documentation is an aspect of that, but I just can’t imagine discovery writers being able to store this much information in their heads (if they can, then my hat is off to you).

My stereotypical vision of an author is someone sat at a desk with little more than a pen (or typewriter) and some paper. But the more I work on this novel, the more I feel that this is an impossible ideal.


6 comments on “Disorder….

  1. Ivan Matthew says:

    Though it seems extreme at least you have an outline! 😀 It’s a skill that I need to learn and hone after because I find it really difficult and confusing to create one. Is this a kind of epic fantasy novel? You mentioned maps and cities so I suspected so. And you’re currently reading “Mistborn” which I saw at the side so it must be. Good luck Sir on your novel! I’ve followed your blog too – in case you have any updates, I would really want to learn from other authors and how they work things out 😀 Entertaining post by the way 🙂

    • Thanks for the reply. Yes, the novel is within the fantasy genre, although I would consider it to be low-fantasy. I hope to put more information about it up on the blog when I get chance. The ‘why’ and ‘what’ topics at the top cover some background on it – the ‘where’ is going to hold most of my world-building information.

  2. tyroper says:

    I keep my daily writing in three places and backup my WIP regularly. I want to avoid the pain of lost work.

    • I’m glad it’s not just me then. How do you find keeping all of the versions upto-date? For instance, if I add some text from a note – I move that note to a ‘used’ section, then I update the main WIP, and also the Word version. A couple of times a week I do the offline backup.

      • tyroper says:

        I’m using Scrivener and will use the snapshot feature. I’m really just now starting my editing process. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  3. […]  Last week, I posted some thoughts about how much of my novel I have lying around at any one time and it set me wondering what I would do if I lost it all.  Zoom forward one week and I find myself sat on Wikipedia reading about David Gemmell (great author) and I read this little tidbit; […]

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