I’m big on plotting, but I’m also big on having some basic structure and organisation in place. For my writing this means I keep my work in a specific hierarchy of folders. I also try to add the number of files the folder contains in the title. This gives me the clarity I need so I don’t get overwhelmed and feel lost, which happens to me easily as an Autistic writer as well as someone writing with ADD.
My writing folders’ structure
The folder structure I came up with isn’t the first version I made, nor will it be the last. It’ll probably keep evolving as I learn and as my needs change. At the moment, my writing folder is organized by different stages of progress, so I have the following folders:
- First draft
- First read-through
- Revisions or rewrites
- Awaiting feedback
- Final proofing
Aside from these folders I also have one specially for my shelved works.
Naming my files
Each project gets their own folder, starting with the year I came up with the concept, followed by the working title, such as “(2016) Salandrine”. Once I’ve come up with the actual title I update the folder name.
The project folders move to the specific folder of which stage they’re in. So Salandrine’s still in “Drafting”. I assume these folder names speak for themselves, but if you’re making your own, you’ll probably go with your own system anyway.
Inside the project folders I have all the files connected to the project. I name each file with the year, title, version number, and what type of file it is. So for Salandrine I have “2016 Salandrine vs8 – draft”. Usually I start with a concept, followed with an outline, then a draft.
So this is how I keep my work organized. What about you? What does your writing folder look like? Do you like to keep them tightly organized or keep things free and open?