Novel Notes Organization

So, I’m currently doing some world-building and general planning for a draft of a novel that I’m going to be starting in March.  Unlike my normal “get a two sentence idea and then write 100k of bullshit on it” approach, I’m trying to approach this one a bit more intentionally (the fact that it’s not my first first draft of this story helps).

What that means is that I have approximately a metric shit ton (~1.1 imperial short shit tons) of information.  While that’s all useful, a folder (in cyberspace or meatspace) of notes with little organization to them is only marginally more useful than not knowing anything and definitely more annoying.

I am exploring using a custom MediaWiki install (like Wikipedia only, you know, mine) for this, and initial signs are positive.  What I really like is the ability to easily categorize things (using multiple user-defined categories) and the ease of cross-linking.  So, when writing up the page for my main character, I can link everything that I know I need to write about and it helps my flesh out content.

On the other hand, I’ve not yet thought of a good way to use it to organize plot notes, or to be able to have some sort of timeline of events.  I could possibly use a category for that (“Draft One Chapters” or some such), and will try, but I’m not yet sure.

Anyhow, my question for all you others out there in ReaderSpace:  how do you organize novel notes?  Not just what you use (Scrivener, google docs, a notebook), but how you go about organizing the information in them for easy retrieval, too.

Note that my current story is a nice starter-story for this idea, because it’s an Urban Fantasy story with only a bit of world building required (though still with full character and plot development requirements).  I am interested in a solution for organizing information for entire complex societies and world, too (because I have a distinct interest in writing Epic Fantasy and SciFi as well), so part of what I care about is how well a solution scales.

So yes!  What do you out there in ReaderSpace do?

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment