writing organization

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…)


Scrivener: Organizing a Scrivener Project

I don’t know about you and your writing, but I tend to be a disorganized writer that wants to be an organized and disciplined writer. I’ve tried just about every filing system known to modern humans. I’ve experimented with notebooks, file folders, date books, stacks of paper, piles of paper, and even garbage cans filled with paper sorted by topic. The best invention in the world for me was the sticky note. Yet, once I discovered Scrivener, most of those went the way of the real purpose of the garbage cans.

So far in this ongoing series on Scrivener, the powerful writing software tool, we’ve learned about the basic features of Scrivener including the organizational benefits of Scrivener, how to start a blank Scrivener project, how to use the Scrivener Research section in the Binder, and using the split screen feature. This tutorial starts to dive into the organizational capabilities of Scrivener.

As you’ve learned in these tutorials, you can organize Scrivener files into two core sections in the Binder of your blank project: Draft and Research. Inside of the Draft area of the Binder you have folders and text. Folders may have subfolders and text files may have sub text files as well. Let’s start there.

  1. In the Binder, click on Draft.
  2. Click the drop down arrow of the green plus symbol to add a new folder titled Chapter 3.
  3. Click on Chapter 3 folder and add a new text document the same way, naming it Testing 3A.
  4. Click on the Testing 3A file and right click, choose Duplicate to create a copy and title it Testing 3B.
  5. Repeat the process for Testing 3C.

You should now have 3 folders and the newest one should have 3 text files within it.

Scrivener - Add Chapter 3 sections to Blank Project - Lorelle VanFossen

Notice to the right of the title of the folder a number. This number indicates the number of files within the folder. In my example, there are 11 files in Research, and 9 in Draft.

Let’s practice moving things around.

Click and drag 3C to 3B. You should now see a 1 next to 3B indicating there is a subfile under it. (more…)