I use to work on multiple stories at a time.
Over the last ten years I have FINALLY come to the realization that that is not the best way to get anything done.
Currently I am working on a fantasy series.
I have started and stopped this series a handful of times over the years. I have been wanting to write it for just as long. I tried to write my rough drafts for books one and two during past NaNoWriMo’s but didn’t really succeed until this last year.
NaNoWriMo 2018 was the year that I finished my first rough draft of book one in my Companion series. My plan is to write book two during this year’s NaNoWriMo (2019).
I tend to do a lot of planning on paper. For me the words just seem to flow better if I am sitting with a paper and pen. As such I have a lot of loose leaf paper running around. I would often find notes for one thing mixed in with notes for something else. Sometimes I had notes go missing for months, only to find them mixed in between stacks of opened mail or medical notes.
I had to come up with an organized way of keeping all of my notes safe in one place.
This is how I achieved that.
Projects on the back burner
These may be half-baked manuscripts or short stories that I have lost steam on or that have left me wanting to pull all my hair out. These stories and all their papers are stored in a filing cabinet in their own folders. The stacks of paper in there are a mix of loose leaf paper, post it notes, and in some cases hard copies of half written drafts.
Plot Bunnies –
My bunnies are corralled a few different ways.
One place they end up short term is in my notebooks. I have a dedicated spread in my bullet journal and two small pocket notebooks that are also used if I don’t have my bullet journal with me. One small notebook goes in my pocket Chic Sparrow which is my easy grab if I am just running an errand or something. The other small pocket notebook is on the bookcase by my bed with a pencil attached to it. I use this one for when I wake up in the middle of the night from a dream that I HAVE to put down on paper for later. Sadly this book is sometimes difficult to read as it looks like some crack addicts ramblings. But it’s there and it gets used.
One day a week I will collect all three notebooks and put them into my Trello board that is dedicated to bunnies. I also have a file in my index card holder that has a plot bunny corral.
Currently / Actively working On
This is the smallest collection by number of projects, but largest when it comes to amount of paper involved.
These are stored in plastic file boxes that I buy at my local Daiso (a Japanese dollar store) Each project is split up and placed in a labeled box. For example, my Companion series currently has four boxes. One is dedicated just to world building for that series. Book one currently is being split between two boxes and book two is currently being contained in one.
I also have a box for the contemporary romance I have been wanting to write.
All the NaNoWriMo projects that yielded something are placed in a file box as well, but those are filed away on a bookcase shelf.
Both the Companion series and my contemporary romance have their own dedicated notebooks which are Mead composition books with a customizable cover.
I save all my writing projects in three places.
One is in the cloud.
The other two are two sets of thumb drives.
One set is stored on a keyring on my bulletin board by my desk. The second set of drives are housed in the fireproof safe in my closet.
Yes this may be overkill, but I don’t want to lose anything.
This is a system that I have only really developed over the last year, but it has made me way more productive. I know exactly where everything is and I have my routine when I am working on my laptop or desktop and dealing with my digital files.