Posted by: nancyisanders | September 16, 2011

Middle Grade Novel: Staying Organized

For a writing project as long as a middle grade novel, even as simple as the one I’m working on, I really like to stay organized. Otherwise I end up with all sorts of loose threads and can’t remember my character from my setting.

I love pocket charts, so I created lots of file folders and put them here in my pocket chart. And that’s Sandman, one of my kittens, relaxing next to it. Isn’t he cute? He’s 5 months old now.

So far, I’ve got these folders labeled in my pocket chart and stuffed full of notes:
Plot– Basic ideas for plot development as I brainstorm them
Plot Charts– I’m filling out these charts stored here…
Setting– I store my notes and maps and pictures I’m collecting to keep my setting details straight.
Characters– I put general notes about ideas for characters until I make the official character files for each one who makes it in the actual book.
Research– Yes, there’s a tiny amount of research I have to do even though I’m determined to keep this at a minimum for this project!
The Working Title of my Novel– This is where I put random notes on the overall project.
Old Versions– I always keep my old versions of each manuscript draft. You never know when one discarded chunk might come in handy during a later revision and make its way back into the book! I save each version I work on each day as a separate file. Plus, when I print out a version to edit with red pen, I save these in this folder as well.
4 Separate Character Files– I make a separate file for each character in my book. I’ll tell you more about the ones I’m making in an upcoming post.


  1. I love how organized you are with all of this. Thank you for sharing your process.

  2. You’re welcome, Kathy!

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