Wednesday, April 24, 2013

UNDERSTANDING THE NEED TO BE ORGANIZED




My guest is historical paranormal author, Brooklyn Ann. Her topic is one that many writers have struggled with--being organized. How does one keep track of those great snippets of ideas that come to us a midnight-thirty when we're just falling asleep or organizing different story lines and the stray scene that pops into our head--usually when both hands are involved with something else. 

Organization, it’s a horrifying, mystifying word of which I can barely grasp the meaning. One thing I know for sure is that it’s a necessary evil.

One author friend has a notebook filled with story ideas. Another has spreadsheets and all sorts of things to organize everything from stories to workout schedules. Others focus on one project at a time with the tenacity of a bloodhound. And some just seem to wing it.

I long to be more organized, but my cluttered house and the toxic waste dump of my car's interior seem to indicate that I'll never be an orderly person. However, there is still a method to my madness. I do have a notebook, though no one but me will likely ever make sense of it. The pages contain everything from random scenes, quickly jotted notes indecipherable to all but myself, to do lists, rough synopses, etc.

A little more sensible are my files dedicated to each series I'm working on. I have one for my historical paranormal series, one for my New Adult paranormal series, one for my contemporary rock star novellas, and another for random ideas. Each time I have a new idea or a quick scene pop into my head, I do my best to put them in their corresponding file.

Little by little, each "project to be" becomes more detailed and clear. One or two are usually close to actual books. Some are the basic building blocks for a story. Most are still pretty fragmented and incoherent.

Crazy as it is, this method seems to work best for me. I am able to focus on whatever project needs the most attention as well as placate my muse by assuring him or her that a new idea will be addressed in the future.

However, things don't always work out and often I forget ideas before I can get them typed up. Especially when an idea comes when I'm trying to sleep. For that, I wish I had some device in which a notebook, pen, & flashlight are mounted on the wall by the bed w' chains so I can write them down and not worry about forgetting it in the morning.


  • How organized are you? What methods do you use to keep track of your projects?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

BUY: AMAZON, B&N, WALMART
BITE ME, YOUR GRACE
Brooklyn Ann


London's Lord Vampire Has Problems

Dr. John Polidori's tale "The Vampyre" burst upon the Regency scene along with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein after that notorious weekend spent writing ghost stories with Lord Byron.

A vampire crazy broke out instantly in the haut ton.

Now Ian Ashton, the Lord Vampire of London, has to attend tedious balls, linger in front of mirrors, and eat lots of garlic in an attempt to quell the gossip.

If that weren't annoying enough, his neighbor, Angelica Winthrop has literary aspirations of her own and is sneaking into his house at night just to see what she can find.

Hungry, tired, and fed up, Ian is in no mood to humor his beautiful intruder...Excerpt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

A lover of witty Regencies and dark paranormal romance, Brooklyn Ann combines the two in her new 
vampire series.

The former mechanic turned author lives with her family in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. 

She can be found online at http://brooklynann.blogspot.com as well as on twitter and Facebook.

18 comments:

Jo said...

I'm not an author, but I am a persistent blogger, so I keep a notebook and pencil in the drawer at the side of my bed so I can write stuff in the middle of the night - it happens now and again.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Brooklyn Ann said...

Thanks so much for having me today!

Jo, THAT'S IT! I need to get an and table with a drawer!

Pat Hatt said...

I am as organized as can be, maybe too much with my ocd lol

~Sia McKye~ said...

Regardless of whether we write stories, non fiction, or blog, being organized and keeping track of ideas and info is important.

I keep a small (half the size of an 8x11) notebook in my purse. Fits perfectly and thick enough to add scenes or ideas.

Brooklyn, I love the title of your story. It brings a grin to my face just looking at it! I have it on my TBR pile.

Sharon Himsl said...

Hi. I'm warming up to the idea (and expense) of Apple's Ipad Mini. I love the organization potential and that it's also an E-reader. Oddly enough, as busy as I was this month in the A-Z, I accomplished more and organized more. I will write more on this in my A-Z Reflection.

Melanie Schulz said...

If you saw my work space you would think I was the most disorganized person alive, but I know were everything is. I'm what you call the disorganized organizer.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I am scary organized, with lists for my lists! Fortunately it's natural for me.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm organized. It's easy when I only have one idea at a time.

Brooklyn Ann said...

Sia, that's a good idea! I should start using a purse. :) Knowing me, I'd probably lose it, though.

Sharon, what's an A-Z?

Melanie...I bet my workspace is messier. ;) We should make a wager. :)

Diane & Alex, you guys are lucky!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Brooklyn, I have to say, after carrying a diaper bag with everything imaginable, carrying a purse fell by the wayside. I used a large wallet, lol! And for several years after the diaper/wardrobe bag was no longer needed.

Then I started carrying a purse again. Just toss it over my shoulder and away I go. So for me, carrying a old fashion paper notebook isn't a big deal. It's usually right there beside the current book or my kindle.

A-Z is a month long blog challenge for April (this is the third April). You can find out about the history of it and what it entails here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/what-is-blogging-from-to-z.html I'm not good with setting links in the comments so you copy and paste. We have a lot of authors do participate, both traditional and indie.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Sharon, this year I didn't have a theme--last year it was mostly mystical powers of crystals and various stones.

And good for you on being organized.

I was unsure if I would even participate in a quasi method. So far I have. I'm glad.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Melanie, my work space may not look all that organized either but I do know where everything is and I do have good files for various projects on the computer.

Diane- I KNOW you're organized, sheesh.

Alex- you made me laugh with that one. :-)

Al said...

I use electronic notes.
I have taken to using Scrivener for my writing. I tend to jot ideas in to that, then they are all handy for recalling as I write.

Brooklyn Ann said...

Someday I shall have to check out Scivener. Sia, I'll definitely check out the A-Z thing!

Elise Fallson said...

I used to be organized before having kids. Then, I have no idea what happened, lol!

Jay Noel said...

I fill out a 7-point story structure worksheet, and then outline chapter-by-chapter.

My favorite tool, however, is Scrivener. It cut down the amount of time it took me to write a 100K novel by about 1/4. And I get to keep my sanity.

Gina Gao said...

I believe I have a mild form of OCD: I have to organize everything before I can start writing.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Michael Di Gesu said...

I am certainly organized .... As an Interior Designer by trade, I have to be ...