It was all planned out. Everything was going to go so smoothly. Between completing my first draft for ‘The Unnaturals’ and editing it, I was going to work on the first book in a series I’ve been planning. I knew I had notes in a variety of places, so decided to spend a couple of days organising those before getting into the story. That was when everything went wrong. The couple of days turned into a week and the week turned into two. As it turned out, the notes I had were completely unorganised, with no system to them at all, and no logical location. Some were on my laptop, some were in a folder, others in notebooks or on loose bits of paper. It was chaos.
Thankfully, the chaos is slowly being tamed. Upon seeing the horror and disorder I had to make sense of, I made the decision to download Scrivener and try it out. I went with Scrivener mainly because I had won Camp Nanowrimo and one of the winner goodies was a 50% discount (as a student, discounts are the best). As it turned out, downloading it was a good idea. The program is easy to use, and very clear, so sorting out my vast collection of notes became less of a chore. There is still plenty to do, but at least I have help.
The trouble with writing is that the amount of planning, preparation and research that goes into it is incredibly high. Each character has their own way of speaking, acting and thinking. Each place has to feel different. Every plot strand must remain to be answered. Everything has to be kept track of, and the only way to do that is to write notes. Lots of them. I made the mistake of letting the clutter of my life get into my writing world. It was a mistake I am regretting and a mistake I hope I won’t repeat. I hope you don’t either. Scrivener works for me, but having folders neatly lined up on a shelf may work for you. Or a notebook, one per story. Just don’t let it get out of control. It is a nightmare to make sense of chaos.