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A question of organisation

October 12, 2014

The last few weeks have been a truly excellent time as far as my word-count goes*. I’ve been managing to write on most days, lately, with the vast majority of such writing sessions being (reasonably) productive. I’m still adding new scenes to the current draft, which I reckon is now over half-way done, and I’ve largely resisted urges to further alter the outline.

That two-week vacation is largely the reason for this, I think. Before I went away, progress on the book had almost completely stopped: I was spending precious little time on the book, and much of the time I did spend was mired in plotting uncertainties. Going away gave me a chance to really focus on the book for a while, without any worries relating to my studies or – indeed – anything at all; that in turn was what allowed me to get the book back on track.

There is just one tiny problem, however: the draft is now about as disorganised as can be.

Perhaps I should explain. On my computer, I have an aptly-named Word file called “fragments.docx”, within which about two thirds of the novel is presently contained. This file grew significantly over the vacation, where I was trying to get down as much of the plot as possible in the space of two weeks, and has continued to grow since. Several of the scenes still need fleshing out some more, and a fair few quite possibly out of order.

To put things mildly, it’s a bit of a mess.

So now, I’m looking at splitting these fragments back into separate chapters before things get completely out of hand. To that end, I’ve started expanding my plot summary into individual chapters; that way, I figure I can just assign each “fragment” to its appropriate chapter and go from there. It shouldn’t be particularly hard, if I’m to be honest; rather, it’s simply going to take a while.

But despite the disorganised nature of the WIP, I’m still thrilled to actually be making headway with it again. And unless said disorganisation causes a major problem later on, I can easily see myself running my next WIP in the exact same manner that I’m now running this one in. As for whether it does cause a major problem…well, I guess I’ll be finding out at some point soon.

*The state of this blog notwithstanding


From → Writing

  1. sounds good to me 🙂

  2. Ah, organization is hard… I still have hardly figured out how to organize half of my stuff, either. Good luck!

    • Thanks! To be honest, I’m pretty disorganised in pretty much everything I do; I suppose it’s not surprising that my WIP is turning out similarly.

  3. I’m too much of a linear thinker to work with the type of disorganisation you’re describing. But whatever works for you, right? Glad to hear you’re making progress.

    • To be honest, I think I’m just too disorganised a thinker to work in any other way. Me and organisation rarely seem to go together, for some reason.

  4. Wow. And ouch. *lol* Just reading it makes me empathize with you. At least you’re taking the time to sort things out, though; organization is too important to ignore. And knowing the work ethic you’ve described in past articles, I have complete confidence you’ll make sense of it all.

    I think one of the reasons why I empathize is because all sorts of potential changes for Draft #2 of my WIP are spinning through my head. (If you read the latest blog article, you’ll understand why.) It hurts my brain after a while, but I know some of the changes really are worth considering. So I’m noting them down on a checklist of sorts for the next go-round – a checklist that continues to grow, of course. :S

    • I’m not even sure what all needs changing at this point in my current project. I’m actually making a point of thinking about that as little as possible right now, simply to avoid any further hold-ups with getting this draft finished.

      I’ve made sense of it all now, though there’s still a couple of “fragment” scenes that lack a clear home. Maybe I’ll end up scrapping them altogether; guess I’ll just wait and see.

      And congrats on the latest wordcount milestone. How’ve things been during the last couple of weeks? I’m guessing you’re pretty close to the end by now (of this draft, anyway 😉 ).

      • I like your plan, to think about all the potential changes as little as possible and just keep moving forward. At least it’s getting clearer for you. That’s what’s most important. 🙂

        I just passed 90K today. *does a happy dance* So I need to get cracking on another Chronicle this week. I still have a ways to go, though. This first draft really is a word dump, so I *think* I’m aiming for 115K. I do see the faint light at the end of the tunnel, though. It’s just a matter of how long it’ll take to get there!

  5. Word!!?!? Crazy fool 🙂 I’ve got one word for you: Scrivener.

    Sometimes a break gives you the perspective and time to refocus and realise what’s important. Really happy to hear it’s coming together (however piecemeal it seems).

    • Been meaning to switch to Scrivener (or at least something that isn’t Word) for ages, come to think of it. How long did it take you to learn the Scrivener interface?

      And thanks! A break was definitely what was needed here. Should have the draft done by the end of the year, at this rate.

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