Keeping Track

Keeping Track

How do you keep track of your writing projects? Do you have a computer file with a list of the current condition of  each project? Maybe you have your writing in paper form around the house somewhere? Maybe you just have it all in your head. How do you keep track of how far you are in each project?

I do this.

My wardrobe.

That is my wardrobe. As you can see it’s covered with notes. The sticky notes on the top left are short stories that I’ve sent out to various competitions. Written on them are the names of said stories, the date they’ve been sent off and which competitions they’ve gone to as well as the date the results are available. When the date for results has past I throw away the sticky note, curse and try again.

The three sticky notes on the top right are the condition of my stories that I’ve yet to submit. By condition I mean what stage they’re in. Are they ready to be sent out, do they need editing or re drafting, do they need a complete overhaul?

The white pieces of paper are  to-do lists. Only the one on the left is writing related the other is my normally weekly jobs list. They’re not completely relevant to this post so we’re gloss over them but the point I’m making  is that this is how I keep track of where I am with my work.

So that’s one question answered but what about the second. How do you keep track of where you are in your work? Do you set yourself a deadline (or perhaps your agent has set you one?) Do you leave yourselves annotations in your work? Do you break it down into separate chapters or parts?

Some people use long lists like this.

This is a list for the process of my novel. I completed the first six chapters at uni. I have no idea what was meant to happen between chapters seven and eight, it’s a very old note.

Some people do Spider diagrams or Think tanks

Keeping Track Paint
I made this think tank a few days before starting this post. Some programs allow you to create them on your computer. I used Mind view. Some people find it easier to work on paper.

Here’s a link from the Daily Mail on how various other authors plan out their work.

I like J K Rowling’s calendar method but I must admit I can’t read anything she’s written. I don’t think my house has enough wall space for the Catch 22 table.

How do you keep track of your work?

How do you keep track of your various writing projects?

It’s all personal taste, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Why don’t you leave your answer in the comment section below?

One Reply to “Keeping Track”

  1. An interesting topic. I keep track of the projects in my head (mostly). I am famous for being forgetful, but my stories are the only thing that I can file away in my head and return to years later. But! I also have extensive notes for my fantasy series gathered over the years, as well as maps I drew by hand. Some of my ideas for the series have progressed beyond my original notes, but each step it gets better, sharper. For my historical fantasy series, I have a book with extensive highlighting on Mongolian culture, the people involved in the story, and significant dates. I then color coded each of the categories with tabs to mark the pages for easier access. As for Powers, I’m afraid that book is all in my head.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: