I Spy a Writer

I organized all of my writing materials today, and seeing tangible reminders of all I've created proved writing is just as much a part of me as my fingers or toes. I started playing "I Spy," a game I so loved as a child. I guess I loved it because even then, I was a tiny observer; someone who loved searching, who loved questions, and clues. No one ever guessed mine because I always picked the most minuscule thing, finding it so beautiful.

Today I did the same thing! I played "I Spy," and discovering I am a person who has had the strength and dedication to finish writing a novel, to revise it, to believe in it, and to keep going with a vision I've had for almost five years now.

I realized I am someone who is a collector of sorts. I have envelopes stashing every note I've every taken for the Falling series, all of my files for character development, and copies of every manuscript I've worked on, showing just how far I've come as a writer. I have folders with first drafts, revisions, and feedback. And I have it all stored away so someday down the line, I can look at all those ideas.

I've learned I'm someone committed to the craft of writing. I have over nine books, which have to do with this craft. Sure, I've only read about half of them, but it is my dedication to being a better writer, which I unearthed among these books.

I also found that I take advice (well some of it anyway) very seriously. I have over eleven notebooks filled, or almost filled, and it's all because I read you should always keep a notebook handy. Now I have a notebook or journal for everything, and I love that I can tuck away notes and quotes and book ideas until I'm ready to see them again

Along the lines of being organized, I also realized that I am somewhat binder obsessed. I have seven binders right now, spilling over with too many pages. I have a binder labeled Writing, which houses everything I've ever written from a limerick about pickles written back in seventh grade, all the way up to the latest short story I've finished.

I have a Keep Calm and Write On binder, keeping all of the feedback I've gotten for BOOK ONE. I have one binder with general information, character sketches, notes, and even sections for every book I've planned in the Falling series. There is a binder for poems, short stories, and even other book ideas I'd like to pursue. I have a skinny binder with the pages of my first manuscript, one which shall not be named. And the behemoth of them all is my binder with the research I've done on publishing with practice query letters and feedback from my earliest BETA readers. Somehow, having all of that stored in brightly-colored binders assures me I'm organized, I'm passionate; I am a writer.

All best,Kayla King.png

The Perks of Being Organized: Part Two

As I mentioned earlier, I have a few things I use to keep me organized. The first and most important is THE binder.  In the binder, I have created nine sections: General Information, Character Sketches, Book One, Book Two, Book Three, Book Four, Book Five, Writing, and Notes. In the first section, I have the groupings of the world, a list of casualties throughout the series, and a playlist of songs, which inspire me when I write. 


The first and most important is THE binder.  In the binder, I have created nine sections: General Information, Character Sketches, Book One, Book Two, Book Three, Book Four, Book Five, Writing, and Notes. In the first section, I have the groupings of the world, a list of casualties throughout the series, and a playlist of songs, which inspire me when I write. 

The second section has genealogical charts, a timeline, and of course, all of the character sketches for everyone mentioned through the course of the series. 

The next sections are completely devoted to each of the books. The first two books have been plotted out chapter by chapter. This allows me to move things around if I don't like how the events are progressing. Since my series begins from five different points of view, this is especially helpful. After finishing BOOK ONE, I found it easier to do intense plotting book by book, because sometimes, despite my careful planning, things change. My characters tend to have minds of their own.  In all five sections, however, I have everything from sketches to floor plans and notes about how certain scenes will eventually play out.

The next section is a writing section. I have a copy of the original 2009 (14 pg.) manuscript as well as the first six chapters from my freshman year of college. While I have two other manuscripts, the one completed in June and the one with the newest round of edits as well, I don't have room for them in this binder as that is close to 600 pieces of paper!

The last section is the notes section, in which I have rough drafts of notes (I save everything). When I feel like I no longer need them, they will be transported to the box.

I started this box a few months ago because the note section of the Binder was getting out of hand. Currently in the box, I have the June manuscript, the majority of my notes, chapter sketches, and anything else that is pertinent to the series. I also have maps (both real and imagined), the notebook, and a leaf with a T on it, which is important, I promise.

Starting this box was one of the best things I ever did in keeping less used things in an accessible place. As I mentioned in Part One of this post, the notebook is one of my other organization tools. My first notebook was from my trip to England where I was supposed to keep a journal, but I'm not very good at keeping up with those. So it turned into book use instead. In here I have very random notes. Once it was filled, it took me days to sort out. That is now in the box, and I've started a new notebook that has sections labeled per book ( a lot of these notes come from the note section on my phone, old envelopes, random scraps of paper, which are transferred here, and then, if possible, stored in the Box).

I have finally created a book board, something I've been waning to do since I finished BOOK ONE. Because today was a Writing Wednesday, I finally had time to put the board together. I started with a piece of foam board, making all the necessary labels for each book. Next I placed a pink post-it next to it to keep track of all the POV's per book. After that, there are larger post-its, which I used to write the five biggest things that happen or drive the plot of each book.

I left space around and beneath those for smaller post-its, which I've written small things that are going to happen, or that need to happen in order for other events to make sense. It's not completely filled yet, and this is good, because it's a working board that will change and grow as the series changes and evolves.

I don't know if I'm crazy for creating all these ways to organize the important information, but this is the way I've been able to wade through the writing process and come out with a story I've loved to read as much as I've loved writing!

All best,Kayla King.png

The Perks of Being Organized: Part One

I just took a quick look at my title and thought hmm...that sounds familiar. It probably has something to do with the fact that I am going to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower this weekend. In any case, I know all about those perks, but the ones I'd like to discuss today are about the perks of being organized.


I have always considered myself an organized person. And when it comes to the Falling series, it's like my organizational tendencies have become more precise than ever.

Before I started work on BOOK ONE last year, I gave myself a week to organize my notes and thoughts instead of jumping right in to the writing process. As I've said previously, such a delay might have had something to do with my fear of starting this project, but it also had much to do with the fact that I like order. Not chaos.

I am a total perfectionist, which has been the hardest thing to overcome in writing this series, because too often I get caught up in making something perfect right away, and in the process, all I do is stress myself out. Even now, as I look at the book board I made today (I'll get to that in part two), the fact that the colors are out of order kind of maddens me, but I digress. Through the past year, I have had to find my own way of organization for the Falling Series. Some things have worked, and other things didn't. I'm not sure how other people tackle this arduous process, but for me, I had to discover that I was a visual learner, and to keep this in the back of my mind at all times.

What does this mean?

Well, for me, this means I need to see things planned out: sketched, written, and plotted for complete understanding. Until then, it's just a bunch of weird scenes or images, which might flash through my head. I began with a binder. THE binder. Without which, I'm not sure how successful I would be telling this story. After the binder, came the notebook and after the notebook was filled, then came the box. I've been using these items for the past year, but upon starting BOOK TWO, I added a few more things to my organizational arsenal. I have created a bigger map of my world to use for reference. Plus I've added proper plotting (with color coded post-its, of course). And today, I finished my book board, which is what prompted me to write all of this down here.

You might be wondering: what are the actual perks of being organized? 

For me, the perks of being organized have happened at the most unexpected times. During my day to day writing process, I can usually remember specific things that are pertinent to the chapters I'm working on. But occasionally, (as I have found with starting the second book), I have to introduce things I know will be important later on. This is where the biggest perk of being organized comes into play. Because I have basically plotted out the big things in the series, I have what I need to reference something such as a bracelet, which will become important in BOOK FIVE. I can go to that section in the binder, and reference how it looks to use in the first book to ensure later on that the reader will understand.

While this is the most important perk I've found so far, there are others. For one, people don't think I'm a hoarder, and that is because I cleverly hide all the evidence in color coded tab dividers and fancy boxes. Another perk would be the convenience of knowing I have everything I need in one place so if I ever need to move my home office (my couch) with me, it's fairly easy to do. Want to know exactly how my arsenal of organization works? Check out The Perks of Being Organized: Part Two!

To Be Continued...

All best,Kayla King.png