Organization is paramount as the content on this blog begins to grow. I’m now on average adding about 800-1,000 words a day. Assuming I can sustain this pace for a year, I’m looking at annually adding 292,000 – 365,000 words. Put in perspective, Tolstoy’s War and Peace was “only” ~587,000 words. At this rate, I could write that in less than two years!
Haha, just kidding.
Obviously, not all words are created equal. And my writing, like anyone else’s, will be more “quality” on some days versus others. And that’s okay! I listen to several “writerly” author podcasts and a quote that always stuck with me (but I can’t remember who said it ☹️) that I heard years ago was, “Writing is like carving an ice sculpture. But first you need the block of ice.”
I generally think of fiction writing using the “Joe-Abercrombie-Layering-Paradigm.” Abercrombie describes his writing as a series of methodical steps, similar to painting a Photoshop composition. First, you draw a basic pencil outline. And then you ink it. Then comes the base colors. Then shadows. And finally, the highlights. Now, to be sure, not all initial pencil outlines are necessarily good. Some are most definitely superior to others and you can’t just dump garbage on the page and expect it to somehow miraculously evolve into a Rembrandt. But, another writerly piece of advice that numerous authors have repeatedly raised which I think is useful: “Don’t expect too much from your first draft.” You’d never look at pencil sketch and be upset that it’s not the Mona Lisa. Thus, in that same way, for me at least, the first phase of fiction writing is just getting the basic plot and characters down. Abercrombie himself has remarked that it’s often not until he’s finished his first draft of a novel that he actually realizes what it’s about! Imagine that! Writing tens of thousands of words without initially knowing where you’re going! It’s a thing! And it works! You just need to persevere and have a little faith.
Anyway, with WordPress, I have something this time around that I previously never had in my spiralbound notebooks when I wrote longhand: Extensive organizational tools! By far, the most useful which I’ve poured hours into, is WP’s tagging system. As I’d mentioned earlier, the surface area of this blog is growing at a rapid clip. Thus, as I pour out the words, I’ve attempted to organize all of it with some high-level schemas:
And on my fledgling story front, all that is accessible via:
Honestly, part of me really enjoys organizing my writing. Almost as much, if not more, than the actual writing. Weird OCD trait, I guess. So little time; so much to write and organize! 😊😀😁