Keeping your stories straight is simple right? Especially when you have a solid outline, a notebook full of character bios and backgrounds. Or that notebook chalk full of backstories and side stores. You know everything about everyone of your characters, forwards and backwards. Hell you are so organized that you can keep things straight with Game of Thrones!
I think I might have made myself laugh a bit too hard.
Let’s get back to reality. You don’t make outlines or work story lines out in a notebook. You jot random ideas and post sticky notes inside your thick overflowing notebook when you can’t find your notebook to write an idea down. Or you’re desperate for a bookmark.
Regardless, you are an artist and how you write your story is as unique as you are.
Now comes in the hard part of being you.
You are writing a piece that you are really excited about then BAM! Suddenly you are struck with another story.
Ok, so for a moment you abandon the story you were working on and start working on Story B. Then BAM! You are struck with another idea. Story C then takes the place of both Story B and Story A. Then you find yourself in the middle of playing favorites. You fall in love with Story B. The horror! What will the characters from Story A and Story C have to say about this!!!
So how do you keep things straight?
How do you keep on task?
The answer is as simple as, “Hey buddy get organized.”
I know it sucks but it is the best and it is easy.
You do it by keeping a calendar. I for one do not like being tied down to hours where I write. I can’t light a match and the flames of my imagination spark. It doesn’t work that way. Which is why I have notebooks coming out of my ears.
But with your calendar you write down what you have been working on.
For instance. On Monday you worked on Story A, so you write that down. On tuesday you were still working on Story A. Then by Friday when you go to write you realize, “Hey I haven’t even looked at Story B in a while, when was that? Oh two weeks ago?
So you take the moment to work on Story B. And how on earth do you get back into it, if you are not a solid outline kind of person?
Simple, you read some of your own story. But for the love of all that is holy do not edit it!!!!! You’ll be stuck there for hours.
Now, let’s backtrack and hold onto your hair because I am going to say something mean. It is time to put some organization into your life.
The truth is the only way to keep your mind from wandering all over the place and for you to keep your stories straight is to use some kind of organizational system.
I have preached on this blog over and over the use of a journal.
However, I know some of you out there are techy, so here is one thing that I like and no it is not one note. (thought I do love that.)
As I am finding myself turning more and more to Google drive, by the way you can link your docs to WordPress! (I know right!)
I discovered Google Keep. it is a note taking system you can use on the cloud or on your phone.
Here is an example of one of my notes.
I use this as a way to keep my characters straight. I use pictures sometimes to give me a visual-Don’t judge!! (Oh and don’t make fun I use Jamie Dorian as an example in almost everything. Sad, sick whatever! I know you have a favorite too!)
You can also put the notes into their own folders, for this display I decided to use the folder stories but really I broke it out further by naming the folder the title of the story.
This is really easy to use, all you have to do is start typing in the new note box. (no I am not being paid to push this)
So there you have it. If you are anything like me and you get inspired by the winds changing then you have a solution to your erratic ideas.
Keep those precious thoughts and story ideas well protected! (and organized)
Oh and don’t forget to carry your journal around, everywhere you go.
Until next time!
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