Instead of jumping blindly like I had done, you can actually take some time to structure your work-environment and give yourself less hassle to deal with further down the road. Such is by putting a foundation underneath your fuzzy feet. Otherwise your situation will feel wobbly.
Basic Folder Structure:
This is important to the organization part of your start. It’s fairly easy to set-up even if you don’t know what you’re doing, and since I’m here to give you the hard push, you’d just have to follow the simple design and parrot the system of folders.
Having these folders will ensure that you will not be met with issues of scattered files or ideas, as they’d have their rightful place which will be known by you, even if you fall victim to the sharpest of amnesia.
You should adopt this discipline throughout your accumulation of experience. Organization equals easier progress, and easier progress results in more time for yourself and future additions to your ongoing or current projects.
In your WriteBase, you’d put important files that’d be beneficial for your writing knowledge, progression and materials. It’s a good way of stacking-up your education and arranging it to your convenience. See it as a university archive of your own creation-sweet.
Here is your idea archive, which is to be used for upcoming stories, chapters, characters or plots. You label and pile the ideas up. Whenever you get an idea, do not wait to save it, because the brain forgets and you may never manage to remember or create the same outstanding vision-now-lost.
Upon the Fiction Name folder, you create a folder with your fiction or non-fiction title, wherein would be the rest of the materials regarding the said project.
The Plot is the core of your story, because no matter how well-worded a book is, without a plot it is meaningless and bland, while the World is what gives the pillars around that core so you can build around and upon it.
With such come complications and specifics that can be logged into Style & Words, where you put made-up words, terms that relate to specific events of originality or lack of current-world existence. Of course, you can add words that exist in our world, since there are no restrictions.
Sometimes we lack the means to save the information digitally, so we can use physical paper on which to write, although I’d say you should refrain from such barbaric tendencies and just use your futuristic phone. But if you do write on paper, you have to re-type it in Notebook Drafts.
The Chapters part can appear rather scary and sophisticated. It’s not. The Legend from the 1st Folder Structure picture tells us the Hexagons are documents, while the Rectangles are folders. When you create new chapters, they go into the WIP (Work in Progress) Chapters.
There they stay until they’re written, after which they’re moved to Archived Chapters and are integrated into Fiction Name Book, which is the title of your project. Within this collection of chapters you’re to put every chapter after it’s been migrated into the Archived Chapters folder.
Remember: when you add a chapter from Archived Chapters into Fiction Name Book, you are to use Chapter Status to log every change you make between files. Don’t log any changes you’d do in the collection of chapters that is your book, unless it’s vital, like if you need to get a chapter out so you can put it on your phone for editing, while moving it back to the computer to update the changes after they’ve been done. Neatness leads to sharpness.
The folders can be created on your computer or the cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive. I prefer to use my computer’s hard drive, yet I keep backups on the cloud and other external drives.
Backups are crucial. What’s a backup? It’s a copy of your files that is stored on another drive or cloud server. This backup is your salvation if your hard drive fails. I know writers who had hard drive failures and lost their manuscripts, files and work…
Such a catastrophe can make you quit, and it can happen at any time. So please, do backups of your files. Don’t believe you’re a special snowflake.
I used to use Onedrive in the past, but as it had sync issues with my Android, I just moved with Google Drive and have used it ever since. It’s pretty handy as well if you’re using Google Docs, because you can just save your files on Google Drive and then download them directly to your computer.
A portion of text that has a beginning and an end. A new paragraph begins when there’s a line break or new indentation. Even a single word can make a paragraph on a page.
This is a line that is in a paragraph. If we have two lines in a paragraph, then we have two lines!
Used in poems. It’s when there is more than one line, while the usual size of a stanza is four lines or more.
A word or phrase that applies to an object or action with qualities which are literally impossible.
- The sun giggled with its rays.
- A vital cog in the machine of writing, since a single comma could change the meaning of a sentence. You don’t need to dig deep in order to start, you don’t even need to get yourself involved with punctuation, because it’s an editor’s job to align all of those problems.
- Nevertheless, if you want to learn more, just head over to dependent/independent clauses in google and learn how punctuation works with them. Be wary, it’s nothing easy to grasp and integrate.
Developing the idea and road towards a goal is what a plot is. It’s the main structure of a story without which a story has no purpose or meaning, because random events are otherwise to happen without a concrete reason. It’s good for you to have a road to trek, hence, you should have an ending goal for your idea or ideas.
Questions that help with the process of this development can be ones like:
- ‘What do I want to achieve with this idea?’
- ‘How am I going to achieve this idea?’
- ‘What is the point of this idea?’
- ‘Why do I want to develop this idea?’
- ‘Who will not understand this idea?’
- ‘Has this ever been done? If yes, how can I make it better?’
There are more sophisticated ones, but this will suffice. The answers can be straightforward and concise, as you are not required to have 10 pages of your plot in order to move forward.
Even a few sentences can be enough for a plot, especially if you are a Gardener type of writer.
When you’ve developed the end goal, you then start thinking where to start. Everything else comes to play as you write and think about your story. Truth on the matter is: you don’t need to have your story fully planned. You just need an important moment of simmer’s need. Everything else can be fit into place easily during writing.
Think of it like a puzzle.
Don’t forget, the story changes as it’s written. The story can’t remain the same with the initial plan that was set in place. It evolves, and evolution is beneficial.