Operation: Organize Brain

I’ve been looking—well, staring—at my computer screen all week trying to work on my WIP.


Where do I start?

What order should the scenes be in?

What should be in this particular scene/chapter?

How many books will cover this story?

Whose POV should I use?

Should I switch up POV?

My brain is going crazy! I have tons of information/backstory. The basic skeleton for my WIP is outlined. I’ve been on Scrivener. I’ve transferred most of it to a Word document . . . I just can’t focus on the screen long enough to put order to my chaotic brain.

Today, I took charge! Here is what I accomplished:

Step 1:

Print off all the scenes

*most of my scenes are just the dialogue or notes/thoughts about what needs to go in the scene.

Step 2:

Use scissors and cut up the scenes


*I was also playing a game of war with my youngest…as you see…I’m great at multi-tasking!

Step 3:

Use paper clips to fasten together any scenes that are on more than one page & then color-coat so you know which book (or chapter, if you only have one book) the scenes are in.


*I used yellow, purple, and orange marker (so pretty!) = this WIP will end up being 3 books (with novella options…possibly…)

Step 4:

Divide into three (or more) acts/turning points. Write that major event on a piece of notebook paper. Then put in all the scenes that are in that act—paper clipping all of it together.


Ta-da! My brain is organized (for now at least) . . .

It may seem like I’m stalling, but this method works great for me. I love being able to touch papers and to physically move them around, getting them in an order that works. Yes, it may change, but at least I have a start and some much needed focus.

Now off to get some writing done—finally!


**So…anyone else have a “weird” method they use to organize their thoughts?


8 thoughts on “Operation: Organize Brain

  1. Ummmmm….not as weird as your’s. 😉 You know I’m a pantster. I just write from point A until I reach point Z, often going through points 2, 13 and 97. I just hold everything in my head. Of course, if you’re talking non-fiction/research papers, then I need an outline and note cards so I can play around with the structure. Glad you are organized. Now, Get Writing!

  2. I haphazardly scribble notes on anything available, including napkins, cardboard, milk cartons… then loose them all later and write basically from memory. Hmmmm…. maybe I need a new system.

  3. Your system sounds great! I just story- boarded a nonficiton book with colored post-it notes. Each color was a different type of entry for the collection book. This project has almost 100 items to be included, so the 2-poster board storyboard allows me to see the mix of things by the colors.

  4. I’m impressed. One, that you can play a game of war during this cut and rearrange endeavor; and two, that you are so organized. I love this idea. It makes total sense. Do you have it in Scrivener? Because if you use the cork boards you can rearrange the scenes, can’t you? I have to type everything and click and drag to put my scenes in order. But I’m all for whatever works and not every author does the same thing. For sure!

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