Friday, August 15, 2014

How Do You Stay Organized?

I pity the woman or man who is tasked with piecing together my plans for whatever writing project I am in the middle of when I die. The task would drive the greatest detective to distraction.

For each project, I keep a dump file, usually a Word document on my computer, which contains the plans (usually outdated), ideas (most unused), and deleted bits (discarded scenes or lines I still wish to keep).
The clues to where I planned on my story going would be scattered about in the various conversations I have had with friends via the internet or woven into the already written chapters themselves. The only remaining hints would be from the current stack of research books I have purchased or dug out and stacked next to my bed. Oh, and my Google search history. That would definitely help a detective. Though my current research for my son’s second grade history reading list would completely confuse the most intrepid sleuth. United States American history picture books don’t usually mix with medieval painting and art techniques, clothing, and horse care.

Plot points, details, and everything else that has not been captured in the prose already is stuck in my head.

I happen to know that very few of you are as slap dash as I am in your research, plotting, and record keeping. Since I hope to improve in my methods, I am doing a bit more research into methods of keeping organized. Most of them look like more work than help.

I would love to hear about what works for you. 

How do you keep track of what is happening in your novel during the writing and editing process?

Rachel Rossano balances her time between the chaos of raising and homeschooling her three children and the world of drama and high adventure in her head. With her faithful husband and chief consulting editor by her side, she dreams of many more adventures to come. 

She also designs book covers. For examples of her work, visit her design page at or Facebook page at

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