I’ve seen a lot of articles out there about getting organized for writing. Making sure you have notebooks with ideas nearby, a dictionary a thesaurus, sticky notes, and a writing schedule, just to name a few things. My style of organization is a large notebook for making notes when the computer is turned off, sticky notes for keeping track of word count and what page I leave off when editing, a two drawer file cabinet and hanging file folders for organizing research I do and lots of pens. Red ink and black ink, always medium point.
When it comes to scheduling writing time, that’s not a problem for me. Since I can’t work outside the apartment I’m stuck here 24/7. I can write whenever I want to and for however long I want to. I know most of you have work families, social lives and possibly school to deal with so your time for sitting down and writing might be limited. There are ways to increase that time. You don’t need to play your game console every evening or spend time making posts on FB or sending text messages with your phone. Stop playing solitaire on the computer too. That’s another time waster. All that time can be used to write. Another thing you can do is get up a half hour early and go to bed a half hour later and spend that time writing.
Set up an area in the house or apartment as your writing area and don’t do other things there. That’s your space, your writing cave so to speak. Make it clear to others in the household that when you are in that space, they shouldn’t bother you unless the house is on fire or the pizza for dinner has arrived. If you set time aside during the day or evening to write, let others know they shouldn’t call you on the phone during that time. IF you can’t find a quiet place in the house, then go to a local library to write for an hour or two.
Set up a goal sheet for writing. Make the goal reasonable and if you surpass it for that day, great! No worries! Trust me; the words will add up and before you know it, you will have finished the first draft of your novel
Here’s something else to keep in mind when writing: Back up your work! Set your word processor to auto back up just in case. When you finish writing for the day, back it up and save it to a flash drive or a place like Dropbox or Google drive. There’s nothing worse than losing all that hard work because your computer decides to kick the bucket in the middle of your work. I use two flash drives, Google drive, and Dropbox for keeping my work safe. Once a month I do a full backup of my Writing folder and save that to a flash drive.
Now, I talked about keeping notes earlier and this is important. Having documents of character dossiers helps you make your character alive in the story not a paper doll that goes from point A to point B, does something, then starts all over again. They live a life just like you do. The dossier is also a good way to keep track of things like scars, tattoos they might, the kind and where they are located. Hair color and eye color too. Maybe they have a psychological problem or a certain habit like biting fingernails or chewing on the end of their hair. Notes on locations for your story and information on any unusual technology or weapons is important. There are readers out there who like nothing better than to rip into what you wrote if you use the wrong type of technology or weapon in a situation your character is involved in. Keep track of books you use for research, websites, and magazine articles.
The above are just suggestions, but they might help you keep on track with your writing.
May the words ever flow!