writing environment

Writing Tips for Organizing and Planning Your Writing

There are two aspects to the concept of organization for writers. There is the organization of your writing environment, be it your working space or virtual space you write in such as the type of computer, software, even the way your writing is backed up. Then there is the organization of the actual writing, keeping track of characters, plots, story lines, names, places, etc., and structuring the end result into something readable as well as publishable.

Discussing this with a few Writers in the Grove members, we realized that while the two concepts were separate, they were actually inseparable. As one pointed out, the spark of an idea can happen anywhere and you must have a system in place to jot it down and ensure it isn’t lost between the grocery store moment of inspiration and the moment you can finally lean into your computer and start writing. Throughout the writing process of a project, the project is with you, wherever you are, whenever your imagination catches fire. A well-structured habit system combined with well-maintained tools and access points for preserving those thoughts help you through the entire process, right through to the point of publishing.

So we decided to offer this short collection of writing tips by others for organizing and planning your writing to embrace both aspects, helping you be organized within your writing environment, physical and virtual, and in the writing process.

Writing Organization Tools and Environments

One tool that our group embraced that changed more than a few writing lives is Scrivener by Literature and Latte. Available for both Windows and Mac, Scrivener is what you use to write your story before you move it to publishing programs and tools, though Scrivener will publish directly to various ebook and print formats. Scrivener is your idea holder, notebook, character development tool, and story line planner. It helps you write your book or whatever is on your writing list. We highly recommend it and have an ongoing series to help you learn Scrivener better.

Some helpful articles on using Scrivener to organize your writing include:

How To Organize Your Non-fiction Book – The Future of Ink: This article offers six core tools and methods for organizing your book: piles, folders, cards, Evernote, and binders. The author also mentions Scrivener as it is highly capable of embracing piles, folders, cards, etc. The article offers tips for organizing your writing in general, time and space for writing, and more tips to help you keep on track of the writing. These apply to fiction as well as non-fiction. (more…)


Writing Advice: A Place to Write

In a recent issue of The Costco Connection, Andrea Downing Peck intervie3ws author Kristin Hannah, author of Nightingale, Winter Garden, and 19 other books.

Nightingale tells the story of a woman who joins the French Resistance and saves downed Allied airmen and others, including her family, via an escape route she creates to Spain during World War II.

In the interview, she describes finding not only a writing space, but the space in which the writing takes place, in that time and place that inspires. For her, it is the Pacific Northwest. She makes her home on Bainbridge Island near Seattle.

If you are a certain kind of person and can live anywhere in the world, this place speaks to you. There is a certain individual that is drawn to the landscape, lifestyle, mountains, ocean, and sound. I also think the rain makes us more productive. There are a lot of days where there is really nothing else to do. You might as well write.

Several of the writers in Writers in the Grove have shared pictures and stories of their favorite writing places. Where is yours? What is it about the space that makes it your special place to write?