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Questions tagged [organization]

This tag should be used for questions about organizing yourself, your notes or anything else you need to write.

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69 votes
24 answers
17k views

Is there a special software for writers?

Whenever I attempt to write something, I do it in a common word processor (like Microsoft Word), but I was wondering if there is a special software for it. Something that would help me keep track of ...
33 votes
10 answers
3k views

Organizing your Universe?

When writing, I always have tons of ideas about the universe I'm creating as a whole: People, Places, Timelines. I'm just struggling to organize it. I'd like to avoid inconsistencies in later stories,...
Michael Stum's user avatar
  • 2,003
31 votes
11 answers
6k views

How do you track random thoughts and ideas?

If you're like me, you get story ideas anywhere and everywhere. If I'm at a computer, I'll write down the idea in onenote or outlook or scrivener (depending what's open). If I just have my phone, I'll ...
Alan's user avatar
  • 1,483
27 votes
10 answers
7k views

If I wouldn't want to read the story, is writing it still a good idea?

I struggle with forming full-fledged ideas. I'll come up with a snippet of an idea, have a hard time fleshing the idea out, and then lose interest before the idea becomes an actual story concept. ...
Alexis Strain's user avatar
25 votes
7 answers
1k views

How can one effectively organize scenes and snippets?

I tend to write bits of stories out of order. If I have a great idea for a scene, I want to get it down it while I have it, even if it doesn't come until three chapters later than the part I'm on ...
HedgeMage's user avatar
  • 4,485
22 votes
3 answers
3k views

How should a writer use version control to track drafts, rewrites, and revisions?

I'm a writer, not a programmer. I'm just now for the first time learning about version control and how it works, and I am wondering how version control could streamline my workflow. In a previous ...
incandescentman's user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
1k views

Time management for part-time writing

I'm currently writing a book, and would eventually hope to be a writer as a career. However, at the moment I'm struggling to find the time and the discipline to actually sit down and write ...
Mike.C.Ford's user avatar
  • 5,280
12 votes
9 answers
2k views

Where do I start?

Let’s say I’ve created an outline, have explored my characters properly, and have properly broken down each scene to an appropriate level of detail. I know the story, I know the pacing, and I know ...
Liath's user avatar
  • 1,900
12 votes
3 answers
371 views

How to write a novel if you only have five minutes here, ten minutes there to work on it?

I once read an interview with some Fantasy author, who told how she wrote her first novel in the breaks between classes when she was working as a teacher, because she couldn't write at home due to her ...
user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to effectively document a product composed of complex microservices?

I have a highly flexible software product consisting of a series of loosely coupled microservices. Each component is effective at a single job, but may be dependent on inputs from other services. It ...
Jason Fox's user avatar
  • 477
12 votes
4 answers
280 views

How to share the work, if writing fiction in a team?

How should one split up the work between two people? Should one write the even-numbered chapters and the other the odd-numbered? Does each person tell the story from the point of view of a different ...
Mnementh's user avatar
  • 2,032
11 votes
4 answers
335 views

How can I deal with an overload of writing projects?

I'm formulating a habit where I create too many writing projects. I'll work on a project, and things will go fine, until I have this incredible idea and I start writing on it. This continues overtime ...
Zolani13's user avatar
  • 329
11 votes
3 answers
231 views

How can I keep up with my co-author's detail creation?

Keeping track of details invented for a work of fiction is never simple, often requiring writing bibles and continuity editors. But when two people are working on the same book simultaneously, then ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 28.3k
11 votes
5 answers
27k views

Anyone has any super intense software for plot outlining?

Now, at the get go, I fully acknowledge that I have gone way over the top as far a story plotting goes, but I'm trying for something on the extreme end of epic and I have a legit obsessive compulsive ...
Patroclus's user avatar
  • 446
10 votes
6 answers
2k views

What tools do you use for your writing journal?

I usually keep a notepad and pen with me at all times. So, if I'm out thinking about a story and a scene or a bit of dialogue comes to mind, I write it down for recall later. I also keep a list of ...
Slick23's user avatar
  • 1,746
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to share research and character notes between multiple works in Scrivener?

My previous workflow was "write in LaTeX, using emacs", with research and character notes kept in plain-text files, using symlinks between multiple works set in the same fictional world. This allowed ...
Vatine's user avatar
  • 1,185
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can someone explain set pieces?

I was using a book in a writing group that talked about set pieces, but I never really got a clear idea of what it is or how they're supposed to appear in writing. My impression was that you have a ...
foggyone's user avatar
  • 998
8 votes
4 answers
447 views

Is it better to repeat steps listed elsewhere in a manual, or to refer the reader to where the steps are listed elsewhere in the manual?

We have a tool that we cannot replace that does not support single sourcing. As a result, with instructions that involve the same node, we either repeat the same dozen steps over and over, or refer ...
Lefty G Balogh's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
130 views

What software can I use to synchronize corrections and modifications over similar documents?

I'm currently working on a large thesis, from which I derive some smaller publications such as papers. The work is in parallel. Often it happens that I copy some paragraphs from the thesis into a ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 219
8 votes
1 answer
297 views

What are tips / techniques to manage the consistency of a plot encompassing several subplots ?

When I lay out a plot consisting of interwoven threads, one of the most annoying things is to manage effectively the factual, logical consistency of the whole. In order to be more effective and ...
Max Bolondi's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Steven Johnson's DevonThink writing workflow: is creating & accumulating 50-500 word snippets worth the effort?

Steven Berlin Johnson talks in this much cited article about his research workflow using DevonThink. In short, he advocates for creating 50-500 word focused text snippets from your research readings ...
ckib16's user avatar
  • 191
7 votes
5 answers
602 views

How to write about things which depend on each other

I am writing a technical documentation about a product. Now problem is there are many interrelated and interdependent concepts. I am just confused how to put them in order. I mean if I talk about ...
itsaboutcode's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
250 views

Simple way/techniques of arranging all the ideas and scenes in a plot?

Sometimes, I get confused as I add more and more ideas and scenes in a plot, is there any way of arranging these?
wyc's user avatar
  • 12.4k
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

What should be put on scene notecards? (for novel writing)

Once, a while back, I tried to use notecards when noveling to organize and develop my novel. The idea (a fairly common one, I believe) was that each scene is noted on a notecard, and you can then ...
Patches's user avatar
  • 1,032
7 votes
10 answers
12k views

How should I organize my journal as plain-text files?

I want to keep a digital journal on my computer. I keep a physical journal in notebooks and on pieces of sheets, but I now want to back up my journal on the computer and if needed maintain the journal ...
user6025's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
611 views

How do I organize my writing process?

Let's say there are elements of good writing such as: Characters, Conflict, Dialogue, Ideas, Mood, Plot, Scene, Style and World You want to start focusing on one of them. Which do you think is the ...
Lady Fickle's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
252 views

Software for keeping track of book edits?

So I'm writing a new edition of an old textbook, and I need some way of keeping track of what needs to be done, and what I have done. I could use paper - but I tend to lose that. Or even a plain text ...
Alasdair McAndrew's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
868 views

Searching for character relation map software

I've started working on a project and wanted to keep all my characters and their relationships well organised. I'm already using TiddlyWiki to archive all the ideas about the world and its ...
Birkl's user avatar
  • 109
6 votes
3 answers
412 views

How to revise your "setting bible"

When it comes to revising/reformatting a setting bible (for a video game) to make the setting more internally consistent and better organized, which place is the best part of a setting bible to look? ...
InterstellarTK's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
524 views

Concentration whilst Writing

The mental aspect of the physical act of writing is giving me some trouble recently. In other words - I think that I'm thinking too much as I'm writing and it seems to be interfering with my ...
robertcday's user avatar
  • 7,743
6 votes
1 answer
807 views

Is an overview clearer when outlined with bullet points, or when written in paragraphs?

I am writing a short piece for a technical audience. In essence I have three main points, each with sub-points. A few of the sub-points themselves have sub-points. I cannot help but find it clearer ...
elliot42's user avatar
  • 325
6 votes
4 answers
13k views

Parts, books, volumes, etc

Is there any standard (or at least common) hierarchical arrangement for major divisions of a fiction book? For instance, I occasionally see some large novels divided into "parts", and sometimes I see ...
brianmearns's user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

Creating and keeping track of characters

I admit to finding this an insurmountable task. My novel has dozens of characters. My first problem wasn't keeping track of them, but creating them. Modern Day: My 20th century characters were ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
6 votes
4 answers
158 views

How to avoid becoming frustrated while writing

Very often when I start writing something, mainly notes for my work (I'm a researcher) but other times personal thoughts, I feel that my writing speed can't keep up with my stream of consciousness. ...
Dario R's user avatar
  • 63
6 votes
1 answer
134 views

Considering the audience for technical publications

At work we provide three types of technical document, aimed at different kinds of users : The Quick Start Guide. Single laminated sheet, illustrations and basic explanation. The handbook. A5 format ...
ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
319 views

Need guidance on my writing method

I have decided to take up writing as a hobby. First because I have so many ideas and like creating things. Second, because I enjoy it so far and thirdly, I like the idea that if my writing is any good,...
JBP's user avatar
  • 340
5 votes
8 answers
7k views

Database for Characters?

I have been on the search (passively, that is) for some sort of database type tool to put characters in. I would want/need the basic stuff (height, birthdate, skin color, hair color, etc.) but I would ...
HelloBeautifulChild's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
932 views

Are there tools/software for planning your story using nested mindmaps and references to characters?

I've been looking for a certain piece of software for a long time, but I never quite found something that matches what I need. I'm a very visually oriented guy, the best way for me to keep track of ...
user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
389 views

Do writers use highlighting to clarify ideas in their work in progress?

In programming we often use syntax highlight in order to have a better picture of what the role of particular bits of code is (using different colours). I wonder if writers do something similar - ...
wyc's user avatar
  • 12.4k
5 votes
4 answers
609 views

How can a new writer make a realistic estimate of his work rate?

This question relates to my earlier question Habits and routines for my first tech writing job which I was told to split into two parts. My first technical writing / translation gig starts soon. A ...
Pitarou's user avatar
  • 267
5 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do I organize a massive collection of personal files and writing?

Note: This is a vague question, so I welcome help in improving it. I have a large amount of writing on my computer, some thousands of RTF files that sometimes start as taking notes in class lectures, ...
themirror's user avatar
  • 171
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Description and speech in one paragraph?

Can you please advise if there is a preferred way of separating speech and description into paragraphs in English writing? Specifically, I mean a description and/or internal thoughts from the point ...
Gwen Ives's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
171 views

Writing many entries/articles, storing them, and browsing them

I'm looking for software that will permit me to write articles of various sizes, with a title and tags for each article. The program should store the content, and then allow me to browse (whether from ...
user2300440's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
12k views

What would sections of a book that are larger than a chapter be called?

I'm writing a technical book, and I want to split my book up into about 3 to 6 very broad sections, each of which would have several chapters in it. Is there a standard name for these broad pieces ...
rbwhitaker's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
181 views

Presenting documentation for a large software product

My documentation team supports a massive software product, over 30 modules. These modules are individually licensed, so one customer might pay for all the modules where another might only pay to use a ...
uxtynuxty's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do I organize a paragraph that lists several steps after an introduction?

I have a paragraph like below: A hypothetical solution is like this: first, we can use a table to record entries. These entries are imported from a library. . ..... Basically, this paragraph is to ...
misteryes's user avatar
  • 151
4 votes
1 answer
121 views

Organizing categories and tags for a writing blog

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 ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
4 votes
1 answer
818 views

External folders in scrivener?

I have a couple of folders with artwork, maps etc. I would like to include this folders to my scrivener project but I don't know how. The furthest I've got is to drag files from folder to Scrivener ...
Invader Zim's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Organization for epic fantasy writing [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Organizing your Universe? I have some issues on the organization of my fantasy story. For instance there are many factions that come into play during the story and I being a ...
Jose Luis's user avatar
  • 547
3 votes
2 answers
197 views

Software for organizing blocks of text within files

I'm looking for a simple program that takes as input text files, allows me to tag them on a relevant paragraph or subsection, and combine those tagged text snippets in files corresponding to each of ...
SottoVoce's user avatar