>Tips for Organizing Your Ideas

>If you’re like me, you have several story ideas bubbling at once. In some shape or form, it’s a good idea to organize those ideas. You don’t want to lose those precious character tidbits, the brief scene you scribbled on a sticky note, or that brilliant plot twist you wrote down in your main writing notebook. There are just as many organizational methods as ideas so work with what works for you. Here are a few ways to keep your writing free from chaos.

Create separate files. Create a file for each idea, keep it somewhere handy, and prevent those scraps of paper from disappearing.

Create separate computer folders. Same idea as above, just digital. You may want to organize further and create a new file for each subject (e.g. setting, plot, dialogue).

Keep separate notebooks. Get a notebook for each idea and use it only for that concept.

Use binders. Either get one binder for each idea or use just one and separate ideas with tabs.

Use accordian files. Get one for each idea and use the tabs to categorize further (e.g. setting, plot, dialogue).

Combine two or more of the above. I have about four ideas right now that are in some stage of development. My primary idea has its own notebook. The other ideas have file folders that I keep in easy reach. Then, I have my main miscellaneous writing notebook that I use for writing exercises, general brainstorming, and stray ideas. When another concept starts forming into something more solid, it will get its own file.

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Spend a few minutes examining your writing organization system. Is it working for you? Do you know where ideas from brainstorming sessions, focused exercises, and moments of inspiration are when you need them? Do you have trouble sticking to the system you have in place? Taking a little time out to tweak or even overhaul your system can make a big difference in productivity when it comes time to write.

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