How To Organize and Strategize Your Content When Writing a Series

Excuse me for not posting this on my regular Wednesday time each week.

Let’s face it. If you write a huge fiction book or a fiction series, there’s a lot going on. A changing world. A cast of characters. Inventories. Weapons perhaps, and even more. It’s a lot to remember, and frankly, I don’t remember! I have to document all of it, in my lovely and over exhausted desktop app Evernote.

We all know that you have to write the story itself, edit it and possibly have an outline. But what about all those extra things, like the world itself and the themes of the story.

These are all the content I track in my fiction series:

  • Character Bios-Who they are, what their personality is, what they look like, key quotes or scenes of the character, any goals they may have…
  • Writing Journal-It’s a bit fun to note down the struggles and twists and turns of the writing journey, and how the story and characters evolve over time.
  • Publishing Resources-Weblinks all about how to market, publish and monetize my series…when it’s done.
  • Mission Statement-Macro level wide view of the big things I want to accomplish as a writer with my series. Helps me keep on track since it can be easy to get lost in the letters, words and individual scenes.
  • Book Covers-I maintain documentation of what book covers I want and what art style I want. I hire freelancers to make the covers, cause I can’t draw…well. But I need to supply information about my characters and what scene to draw, hence the need for book cover notes.
  • Weapons-Self explanatory.
  • How to write fight scenes-Notes on how fight scenes should go, since I lack extensive experience with fighting scenes.
  • Story Development-Noting how a non-human and non-character element…the plot or story itself is supposed to evolve from page 1 to the end.
  • Environments-Listing out each location in the series, and some hand drawn maps.
  • Character Wardrobe-Clothes each character owns and can wear for any given scene. I also note in-world brand names too for handy reference.
  • Inventories-Items each character generally carries on them, or what they carry at the present point in the story. This just helps me remember what they have on them to use in any given scene.

Here is how I organize the massive and sprawling amount of content that supports the story itself, the fiction series.

I have a note for each type of content.

You can call it a document, sticky, whatever. Point is, have a set of notes or documents for each content type. You may think my list of supporting notes for the story is long. Well, if you think about your own life, town, people and goals…there’s a lot going on there too.

I update each note as I write.

The whole point of documenting all this is really…to ensure I don’t forget any key part of the story. These notes become handy and essential reference material to ensure story consistency and so that items do not randomly appear or disappear.

Too many notes! I don’t need all this!

Well yeah, your story is likely different from my story. Hopefully you need less reference notes than me. I only have so many notes because each serves a useful form of memory as I write scene after scene. There is no way for me to remember the entire story in my head at a moment’s notice. This helps so much with maintaining consistency and accuracy and keeping immersion in my story, I think.

Hope this helps. If you want more or other info, comment down below!

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