Thursday, January 22, 2009


I have a lot of friends who wonder how I keep all my materials concerning a story organized. They used to not be. But when you have notes, pictures, pieces of old cancels manuscripts, and more, then you need to find a way to keep everything together.

How do I do it? Folders. I get a regular plain folder and write the title of the story on it with my trusty Sharpie.

I keep all the written pages on the left side of the folder. This picture shows (from left to right) a page from an old manuscript with highlighted marks that I used in The Ultimate Evil, a brief idea, query letter help, and finally the beginnings of my acknowledgements and dedication page. I always write one for every story whether they get published or not, because it's nice to look back and see who helped you the most with your work.
On the right side I keep all my pictures, drawings, maps, and the like. Here (again from left to right) I have a drawing of Arvil that a friend did for me, along with a tracing that I did to add the scars and chipped horn. The next is a concept for a creature I created called the Vorrion (think a cross between a lion and a saber-tooth tiger). I also have a map of Morlaya and a creature that Arvil turns into that my sister drew for me.

I have a folder like this for every single story. I find it easier than keeping everything on the computer where you're flipping through two or more documents.
The one thing I do not keep in the folder is my manuscript. Mine are so long that I can't print them off (otherwise my parents would make me by the ink for the printer, and I don't have a job, so I couldn't pay for it!) so I just keep them on my computer and Jump (Flash) drives.
Anyway, that's how I keep my story stuff together.


Shmoofoobean44 said...

that's interesting, but one comment...why keep writing stuff on the left, it would have mor than the drawing stuff and thus when you open the folder you must open the heavier half. why not switch it so that the lighter drawings are on the left side that you pull open?
That's how i handle schoolwork orginazation. yours looks thick, and that way if it's not flat when you pull it open, the bigger half doesn't fall out. :D yeah, too much thought process on the smallest things. :D

Madison said...

Well, I didn't really think about it. My layout just kinda happened. :)

Big Plain V said...

A secondary comment on your last post: 23 rejections is nothing. I've heard stories of bestsellers being rejected hundreds of times before finding a willing publisher.
I've had nearly four hundred rejections myself, but Fiersom's Brood was only rejected ONCE. I got an offer from the fifth agent I queried. Cool, no?

Anyway, about your manuscript, have you ever printed through Lulu? Cuz you can get a nice bound copy of your book for less then what it costs to print out a MS on 8 X 10 paper. I'll bet your latest book would be under ten dollars, even with shipping. (Just be careful to select the 'private' publication option so that legally, you haven't squandered your first publication rights -- email me if you want to know more).

Madison said...

Getting accepted on the fifth agent?!? That IS cool!!! Congrats!

And yes, I know 23 rejects is nothing, but that was the only example I could think of at that moment. :)

Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing fellow writer? I would love to speak to you sometime. Please, let me know when you are free to talk. I love meeting new writers...

Madison said...

Yeah, Leon, that'd be great. I am getting ready to sign up for an associate's freelance writer's degree, so I'd love to know a little bit more about what freelance writing is and what it's all about. I just love to write....period! :D

Pink Ink said...

I love your philosophy of writing acknowledgments and dedications on everything you write, published or not!

Found you through BPV.