Is Organization the Death of Creativity?

As I’ve been working on The Sunstone Covens 2 this week I’ve noticed that I’ve spent more time organizing my notes, research, etc. rather than actual writing. One minute I’ll think yes, this is how I need it to be organized, with everything neatly in its own section in the pretty little binder or notebook I’ve placed it in. The next minute I’m reading an article by one of my favorite authors who has a different method that sounds like it might be cool to try or I find a neat new organizational binder that I just know is going to work so much better than the one I purchased last week and here I go again.

Then there’s the outlining. Oh, Jesus God, the outlining. I’ve tried it both ways and what I’ve found is I really don’t think far enough ahead on a story to really outline it. I’ve wasted countless hours just trying to outline a book! No real writing getting done there either. Thankfully, I realized early on that I’m not an outliner and I prefer to wing it and take notes as I go. I like to formulate the story as I go. No more real hours wasted on outlining anymore.

There does have to be some sort of organization to writing. After all, that’s what makes a good story flow well, the organization of the chapters and words and story arc. But I’ve realized that too much organization can really keep you from the actual task at hand. So I’ve decided that the moment I decide to begin a new story, I will immediately decide the organizational method I’m using and stick with it. NO MATTER WHAT. Now, to get some actual writing done. I just have to get everything organized into this nifty new organizational binder I bought last night…

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One comment

  1. Marsha Blevins, Author · May 22, 2014

    I was reading K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel and she (or someone she was talking about) spends MONTHS outlining and organizing a single novel. Apparently this involves notebooks (plural–notebookS) full of notes.

    I’ve pantsed and I’ve plotted, neither were perfect for me. The Pantsed novel feels like there is too much stuff happening to the MC. The Plotted novel feels like it drags/slows down in spots. I’m going to try a mix of the two and see where that gets me.

    Can’t wait for Sunstone 2!

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