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I've started a writing blog (specifically for research and other information about my novel in progress) with Wordpress and am having a very difficult time with categorization. In other blogs I've created, the categories and tags flow organically from the content.

For example, my main blog is a mishmash of personal stuff but mostly recipes. I have categories for Desserts, Main Dishes, Spreads & Dips, and so on. As well as things like Food Budgeting and Restaurant Reviews. Then I have tags such as seafood, vegan, lowcarb, and others for location or cuisine.

But with a writing blog, I'm not sure how to approach the organization. Do I use my locations (I have 4) as categories? Or story-based elements such as Setting, Characters, and Plot? Or something else entirely? (Tags are easier as they would just be for things not covered in categories.)

Consider a blog's categories like chapter headings in a nonfiction book. How do you divide and label the content so readers can find what they're looking for?

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    Wordpress is a CMS, you can change categories and tags at any time. Just do a "writing" blog and then later divide it based on what you actually write as needed. Most blogs do not particularly even need categories, they are useful when you need a hierarchical menu structure and SEF urls. For blog posts tags and article names are generally enough. – Ville Niemi Mar 23 '19 at 9:28
  • @VilleNiemi Not so easy. I not only have my own blog but I have created two for nonprofits and now have a new one. It is a huge pain to re-categorize and re-tag dozens of posts (hundreds in some cases). It also causes the same problem we have here at SE, those edits (any edits) put the posts at the top of RSS readers and other notification services. Getting it right from the start works a lot better. – Cyn says make Monica whole Mar 23 '19 at 13:55
  • Sorry, I guess that "WordPress is a CMS" is still not quite true and I was engaged in wishful thinking. In my defence I did not know about you using RSS and I am talking about doing this when you are starting to have enough content to have a sense what you need. So there would not be that many articles. And you could enable RSS after you did the changes as well. – Ville Niemi Mar 24 '19 at 2:42
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It's unlikely readers will come just to peruse your story locations category exclusively. I would put all in-world posts in the same blog category and then tag them with more detail.

In Wordpress, categories have evolved into an organizational level that is "above" topics. Use different categories for posts that should never be sorted together, such as one category for all in-story elements, another category for historic research that links to other websites, and possibly a 3rd category for posts about being a writer or your personal journey of writing. Posts are dated and sorted chronologically, blog-style.

For information that is not timely or does not update with on-going developments, consider using nested pages as a kind of wiki. A top Wordpress Page can be a summary or pitch for the novel, with sub-pages for individual characters and locations. Each page could be a complete profile of 1 character, with page links to their close friends and the locations they visit. Information that is not updated with multiple posts should be static. Pages always appear in the menu so they are easy to access, and a Pages menu can be styled independently of the categorical blog.

As an example, you have 2 "entries" about 2 different characters. As Posts the creation dates are important, the default is for Wordpress to try to add this date to the URL of the post. The order in which the posts were written is just as important to sorting as the category itself – all "archive" feeds in WP will always sort in a chronological order (typically reverse chronological order so newest comes first).

In contrast, Pages do not sort by date. The 2 character entries are on "equal footing", it doesn't matter which was written first, they will always appear at the same hierarchy level.

In your example you ask about sorting various in-world story elements into separate categories. You can organize your blog this way, but that will compromise you in the long run – this is assuming you've started an "author blog" not strictly a "novel blog". You may have other novels, and you'll need to decide if you want all characters from all novels to sort together, or if you want to keep this information siloed to the individual stories.

You can still allow your blog to become "self-organizing" by using 1 default category for everything, until you have a situation where a topic needs to be siloed – such as "publishing news", or in-store appearances – from your story/writing topics. Use posts as a general blog, and migrate static information into pages.

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    That's helpful thank you, though it brings up more questions. I am nowhere near the place where I have anything about publishing, but I started a blog/website for my husband's comic series and we do have publishing updates as a category there. And as a page, so it shows up in the menu as well. – Cyn says make Monica whole Mar 23 '19 at 14:27
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    It's a blog for this specific novel, not for me as an author. – Cyn says make Monica whole Mar 23 '19 at 14:28

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