How to Organize and Keep Track when writing a long story

So I am trying to write a roughly 1000 page fiction novel, yeah?

But think about it, unless I want to risk inconsistency, loss of continuity and lots of trolling from tvtropes.com, then I should have a way to keep track of my story as it is written.

I use Evernote overall to house all my data and writing and research for the writing. But I was having something like 200 notes spread around the app and I needed a better system for managing the data. So let’s go.

  1. Maintain a list of some sorts with your story outline

You need to have at least a basic idea of where your story is trying to go. What is the beginning, middle and end? What is the struggle and the resolution to the struggle? I just keep a list of story scenes below the text of the main story as I write it, but you can organize it however you wish.

2. A list or database for the story’s characters, the story themes and expected changes from beginning to end

Just because you know the story, doesn’t mean it is not helpful to have other lists to describe who the characters are, what the main themes are, what the goal or changes will be with the characters and themes. It is hard enough to keep track with the story itself and the story quality so keeping track of the individual characters and themes is helpful to ensure overall quality. If you have a great story but drop the ball on the character development or the themes, then that still hurts overall.

3. Have a mission statement document

We talked about the details of your work, the story scene-by-scene and the characters and themes change-by-change. But to have good quality, you need some simple, broad idea of what you want to accomplish with the story as a whole. Just answer, what do you want to accomplish or really be good at with this written story?

4. Keep a list of proprietary or interesting items

If your story features special items then it is useful to have a list to yourself of special outfits, clothes, items the characters have or use. Then you can think of when to use them at random.

5. A writer’s journal

As you write you will surely come up with thoughts about your personal life, nods to other fiction works, connecting a character to it’s past and future self and etc. Best to document them as a cool trivia of sorts and to see how the story and characters grow over time!

Hope these helped in tackling your extra large story!

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