The Organizational Manuscript Planning Foldout

I don't know if I've described it before on this site, but one of the things I do to keep on track with my novels is to create organizational manuscripts of them once I get to a certain point. I do this because I am extremely scatterbrained and need to have some sort of guide along the way. In these organizational manuscripts, I include:

- Parts already written;
- Oodles of notes (culture, literary, characters, food, etc.);
- Character sketches for main characters;
- Character summaries for minor/supporting characters;
- Summaries of the settings/places important to the story;
- Maps of places in the story (some actual places, and some imagined - I use Open Office Draw for my fictitious maps;
- A summary of the story and a summary of intent/theme;
- An outline;
- Writing exercises and style notes for problem areas;and
- What I call ponder sheets. These are the most important for me. I ask myself questions about scenes I haven't written and leave space for writing ideas.

I've had a couple of writers say that this sounded too constricting for them. It's true that some writers will find it constricting, but I always leave myself plenty of wiggle room. An organizational manuscript I've been using for a while will be filled with smaller sheets of notes stapled into the booklet, exed out anything and everything. So no, I don't find it constricting.

In any case, this is a form I created to help me get started on new organizational manuscripts. I wanted something that would allow for everything to be on one page, so I made it a legal-sized fold-out.

Paper size: 
OM chart.JPG
Usage advice: 

This is 8.5x14 legal paper printed in landscape orientation to create a fold-out. I'm not entirely happy with how this turned out, so I may tweak it some later on when I use up all of these that I've printed out. I'd like to make it a little bigger. Maybe two letter pages taped together or something.

One recommendation is that you definitely need to use heavier stock. All I could find was 20lb paper in legal size, but I probably didn't look very hard.

There are two sides to this. There's the inside of the fold out and the front flap. Mine is laid out kind of odd on the front flap because of the way my printer is oriented, so you may have to do some moving around of the table.

Again, I've used Word tables.

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OM Chart.doc37 KB
back of OM chart.doc29 KB
OM Chart.pdf31.52 KB
back of OM chart.pdf5.48 KB
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