#WritingTipWednesday: My Current Novel Writing System


writingtipwed1 My whole life changed in the middle of October. I moved to Eastern North Carolina from Greensboro for a new library job, and I'm still adjusting to the newness of the area and the job.

It's time to get back to writing though. Being in a new place and getting used to a new routine made me realize that I needed a way to keep things organized with my writing so that I don't waste time re-printing and re-reading the same sections over and over again. The system I came up with is pretty simple, and of course it will evolve as I continue to write, but for now I think it should work pretty well.

First, here's the easy part of this system:

My Novel Binder

novel binder tabs


Back Pocket with Freewrites

writing timeline

Each chapter in my novel has its own tab. The front pocket of my binder holds my novel outline, and the back pocket holds all of the freewrites that are related to this project. Seeing my work get closer to a book format, even if it's just a binder, was both motivating and intimidating. On one hand, I feel more like a "real" writer now who's working on a manuscript that is being collected in one place and not someone who just writes in scattered trails. At the same time, I'm trying to fill up this whole binder...by May! That brings me to the writing timeline...

That's the hard part.

My goal is to write two chapters of my novel manuscript per month, so that breaks down into one chapter every two weeks. Based on that goal, I listed each chapter in my novel ( so far there will be 11) in my journal along with the weekend that the chapter is due. So far I'm staying faithful to this timeline. I only have a few more scenes left to write in Chapter 1, so I'll meet this weekend's deadline for it to be done.

To help me stay focused, I'm going to put all of my chapter deadlines in my Google calendar so I'll get phone alerts when they are approaching. Yes, it's that serious.

I hope this helps someone be a little less lost on their journey through writing a novel. What are some things that you do to keep your writing process organized and productive?

I'll be on Periscope tonight at 8:30PM for #WritingTipWednesday! Follow me @nicholeonichols. See you there!