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  • Patricia Hollett

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    Currently working on:

    Fallon -70,094 words
    Forest Born -67408 words
    Ice Whisperings -2997 words
    Garrett -9623words
    Northern Blood -11658 words
    Winter's Reign -787 words


    Blood Harvest - 998 words
    Keeping Secrets - 1500 words
    Misunderstood -700 words
    Sarah's Amulet-A Necromancer Slave Story -6004 words
    The Cult -1998 words
    Unfortunate Blessings -454 words

    To Be Published

    Artistic Escape - flash (to be pub 2011)
    Happy Birthday Honey - flash (to be pub 2011)
    Making Choices - flash (to be pub 2011)
    Together Forever - flash (to be pub 2011)


    Allie's Clown - 1500 words (Published on Dark Valentine website March 2011)
    Valeria's Knight - 4807 words (Published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine)
    The Angel Wars/Post-Apocalyptic Emails at the end of time-A collaboration with author Tammy Crosby (Published by PillHill Press in August 2011)
    Valeria's Knight - 4807 words (Published in Night to Dawn Magazine-September 2011)

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I think of myself as a very organized individual. I have ‘to do’ lists for everything. Daily to do lists, shopping lists, objectives, short term, and long-term goal lists…well pretty much anything that I want to keep track of so I get things done, instead of muddling my way through a day. I need to feel that I’m accomplishing something. Crossing things off on my lists encourages me to move forward.
Which brings me to organization. I have file folders for all my writing that I thought appeared organized until I started re-writing some of my wip. I would look at my files and wonder which one to open because I hadn’t dated them or labeled them well enough to know which one was the ‘current’ wip.
Then, I realized that I have so many documents for the same piece of writing because of re-writes and critiques, etc. I hate tossing out original pieces because perhaps there might be something of value in it that I may want to use later.
I started to do a clean up this week to organize my ‘Writing Files’, and it was a time consuming task. First drafts, seconds, thirds, revisions, plot document, ideas, etc., were starting to overwhelm me. I probably had about ten files for each chapter written. Comparing and combining to make a few decent files with important and relevant information and a final chapter for the multitude of revisions I have done on it. I then kept every extra tidbit in a separate file and labeled it ‘Cut parts, unused, possible plot points’, for future reference for the wip.
In all, I probably eliminated about twenty-five documents that were redundant and unnecessary, and I feel a bit more organized. I feel a little better having done some housekeeping on my files and it reminded me of watching that show, ‘Hoarders’, where people keep everything, useful or not.
I now have a much cleaner and organized ‘writing file’, and can open it and go to the document I need to work on now.
How does everyone else deal with organizing their ‘writing files’? Similar problems or a tried and true technique that works for you? Please feel free to share your experiences with this.


5 Responses

  1. Hey Pat,
    To be honest in writing I’m probably one of the most disorganised people going. However I was recently made to take a proper look at how I deal with books.

    I reorganised things by date of release (two seperate lists, one with books ahead of schedule, one with titles that are late) and prioritised them this way.

    Its made things more efficient on how I deal wtih things and I now have everything pretty much organised to schedule. Currently I’m working on the admin for next years requests so I know what I have arriving when (alledgedly) as well as seperating them via Adult/Childrens titles.

    It means that by the time I’m done I should be able to plan the next six months if things go according to schedule pretty well with interviews and everything. Woohhhooo.

    So I suppose what I’m saying in short is that planning has its place although to be honest you need a fluid enough schedule to give you a little leeway.

  2. Whoo that’s great Gareth! And, your right! Planning does have it’s place, but you need to be flexible at times. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your views and your experience.

  3. Hmm, I’m not sure I have any hints. I keep a ton of paper (critiques of chapters of my novel, critiques of short stories), because I used to meet with my fellow writers in person and they gave me copiesof my work with their notes written or typed in. Anyway, I do have them separated by story, or chapter. But currently, there is a large orgainzed pile on the floor. I need to file them, but I’m not sure I have enough room left in the writing drawer of my filing cabinet! Or, I might just move the pile to a less visible place in the living room, writing room where I can still access them when I need them. Yes, by George, that’s it!

  4. I save new versions of my chapters or manuscript and keep each version in a separate file. Version 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. I also have one folder for deleted scenes. I keep all my notes in a spiral notebook and my crits & outline in a hard file folder. I don’t rework a chapter until I’m done with the whole ms though. I write it all the way through, take my crits and rework the entire ms based on those crits. Then do it again as necessary. Of course, I haven’t been doing it too long, but that seems to work for me. 🙂

  5. I love that idea Danni. Version 1.1, 1.2, etc. and think I’m going to adopt it. It will make finding my newer revisions much easier when looking to open a wip. 🙂

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