ness writes about writing

(Possibly) Productive Hints and Tips

Writing is a fluid thing; what may suit you one day may aggravate you the next, but this is what I’ve found, on the whole, to be a Useful Way to organise and write my various projects:

Distraction Free

via Pinterest

As I compose this blog post I am using the ‘Distraction Free Writing’ option. I do the same on MS Word by going to the bottom right hand corner and selecting ‘Web Layout’. That way, I am not counting the pages I am writing but simply getting the story out onto the white screen.

Master Folder and Document

When I begin a story, I open a new folder. This is my master file, where everything to do with that story is saved. Then a new document is saved to the folder as the master document of the story. Here I pop the name of the project on the first page, followed by my name and the date the story was started and an empty place for the date of its completion.

Every time a chapter is finished I put the date on that first page. This is quite motivating as you can see how much time has passed between chapters (cough cough), or how quickly they are being finished.

New Chapter – New Document

Every time I start a new chapter, I start a new document. Sounds a bit weird? No, not really. You see, often all the chapters previous to the new one can feel like they are weighing it down; as if the sheer volume of words are presenting themselves with every new paragraph you create.

So I begin anew, like this:

How Ness [quite often] Begins A New Chapter:

  1. create a new document, save it as chapter such and such and book title to master folder (like: Chapter 3 – TMTOAB, I put the abbreviated form of the project name after it. This saves confusion with other chapter threes)
  2. pop the chapter number on top of the brand new white document
  3. write the chapter
  4. name chapter (the name may stick or it may be changed at a later date)
  5. save chapter to master folder
  6. copy and paste chapter to master document
  7. be pleasently surprised how much the word count has grown


I use MS OneNote to heap any plot ideas, scraps of writing I didn’t need, scraps of future scenes that I may want. This saves hunting down that elusive thought in the hallways of my mind: what was that really great expression again, the one that I thought of days ago but didn’t write down?

So – a question (if I may): how do you organise your writing projects?