Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A to Z Challenge: Organization

A to Z Challenge

Theme: Creativity Toolbox

O = Organization
Organization is not an area I'm gifted with. Formal outlines make me cringe. I prefer napkins and stray pieces of paper covered in odd bubble map type notes and journals that include pictures, maps, story ideas, poetry, and scribbles.

However, after writing rough drafts for three novels, and getting neck deep in revisions for my current WIP, I have found a new respect for the formal outline, and for all organizational tools.

Organization is a required tool for the creativity toolbox, whether I like it or not.

I need lists of my characters' names, maps of the countries my characters visit and the world the live in, formal character files, and even that dreaded formal outline that makes me want to curl my toes in protest.


Screen shot of Hierarchical Outline in HTML and CSS Free Web Template

Organization can free up my time, my writing space, and my mind so that I can be creative. That's why I feel like it's an essential part of a Creativity Toolbox.

What do you think? Is organization necessary?

Creativity Toolbox Exercise: Take a moment and organize some part of your project.


12 comments:

Laurel Garver said...

I've found it helpful to keep a novel "bible" for a WIP--a Word document where I transcribe those random scribbled ideas and have the character notes and setting research and plot ideas in one place.

Outlining, though...I know I should, but often don't until the messy rough is done, and use it as a revision tool. I bet I'd be faster at drafting if I outlined *before* the rough.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Laurel - I have a file folder in Word for all my random scribbled ideas and my notes, and I have a tendency to outline afterwards for revision too. However, for one of my rough drafts I outline beforehand, and the story went faster and easier. . .

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm organized when it comes to writing. If I didn't carefully outline, plan, and do detailed character sheets, my story would wander into the desert and never return.

L.G.Smith said...

You make a good argument for organization. Now if I could only get organized enough to get organized. Not my strong point. :(

Linda Jackson said...

"Organization can free up my time, my writing space, and my mind so that I can be creative."

So true...in writing and in life. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm so organized I have lists for my lists.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I can't do that in the beginning cause I have no idea what I'm going to write about until I write it. However I do have to write up some information about half way through to keep my days and characters straight.
HMG

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Now, that's an interesting reason to write all that stuff down - free up your mind. It's what I do when I write a task list. From that perspective I can see the value of such notes.

Joanne said...

Organization is a must...now where is my pen, pencil paper...UGH.I definitely need help in this area.
Blessings, Joanne

Chris Fries said...

I love organization, but depending on the project, available time, and current frame of mind, my organization pendulum swings between barely-controlled chaos and overly-organized-OCD-ness, lol!

for me, moderation is the goal, even in organization. I want to be able to find what I want quickly, but not get so wrapped up in organization that I lose focus on what I'm actually trying to accomplish.

Great post and great blog!

Brianna said...

I'm organized in most areas of my life, but probably less organized in my writing, which surprises me. I remember doing outlines in high school, but rarely do them anymore. Perhaps it's time to give it a try again!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow! Thanks for all the awesome comments - sorry I'm so slow and this isn't really a reply it's more of a "thanks!" and I went to visit your blogs . . .