Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[process] A novel idea

joshenglish asks in comments:
When you work on your novel, how do you keep track of everything? Scenes, characters, places, plot, etc? A pile of index cards? A customized database?

To which I have the singularly unhelpful answer of:
Um, it's all in my head.

Which, when first drafting a multithreaded POV manuscript of 175,000 words is kind of...weird. My head is a very strange place at that stage.

Once it's on paper (so to speak) I can use search strings to locate and analyze stuff.

The only bit of data management I do is a sort of ghetto tag processing where I put important notes to myself [in square brackets] while I'm drafting. For example, if it occurs to me on page 612 that something should have happened back around page 250, I'll note it for later editing.

Really, it all lives in my head, one giant, spiky, interwoven idea.

What do you do? Do most people keep notes and make cards? Or do you just write out of your head like I do?
Tags: books, process, writing

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