— November 25, 2008 (4 comments)
When I was writing Travelers, I usually only had a couple of documents open: the manuscript and an outline. I'd open other files as needed, like if I needed to find some old notes or update my word count statistics, but it was rare.*

The other day, I was working on Air Pirates, and one of my kids came up and said (as teenagers will), "Wow! You've got a lot of stuff open!" I have the taskbar expanded to double, and at any given time it's packed with manuscripts, world docs, outlines, brainstorming notes... Well, let me just show you an example:

I mean, just in that screenshot, I've got 2 time management docs (TODO and Writing Statistics), 4 story docs (manuscript, timeline, outline, character bible), 6 world docs and notes, plus the directory they're contained in and Firefox. That's normal. Sometimes I'll also open "Details to Remember,"** "Random Passages," or any of 100*** other files containing various notes on different story-related topics.

I don't feel disorganized yet, but I can sense that I'm getting close. If I have to write three books in this world, I may have to find a better way to manage all of this stuff.

* For example, at the time I only kept track of word count each time I finished a chapter. Travelers only has 11 chapters and an epilogue, and it took me three years to write. So I only got to open this file about once every 3 months.

** An increasingly obsolete document in which I attempt to keep track of little details, like how much money the protagonist has on him, and which leg was broken of a particular minor character.

*** One hundred twenty three, at the moment. Character notes, maps, old dead stories in the same world, old drafts, early outlines... I even have a flash animation of the world, its 3 moons, and 2 suns.

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  1. I see you're using Metapad - I don't know why people still bother with Notepad in this day and age.

  2. Because, seriously, who even knows about Metapad? They don't even have a proper install program. You have to copy the EXE and then create your own shortcuts, etc.

  3. hey adam,

    i just read the first chapter of travelers and want to read more. could you pass on the rest of it? :)

    jzting at gmail dot com

    - jason

  4. Thanks, Jason! I'm glad you liked it, but I'm not quite ready to hand out the whole thing. I'm afraid you'll have to be really patient.

    If Travelers never gets picked up, ever, by anybody, I will probably just offer the whole thing for free, someday.