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  1. #1
    imported_Todd Phillips
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    Organizing a complex book - nonfiction

    I'm working on a book that is very broad and very complex. It touches on a lot of areas and I am using many many sources of information. I'm getting a little overwhelmed with the information I have gathered, and I have a long way yet to go. I'm concerned with the difficulty that will be involved with organizing what I have and turning it into a book. I have an outline--currently 8,000 words, a collection of thoughts and things I've read--29,000 words, and notes from books I've read--hundreds of thousands of words--and that represents only about a quarter of what I'll ultimately need to read.

    Can anyone suggest a strategy for efficiently dealing with lots of information and not getting overwhelmed? What I think I'm looking for is a process.

    Thanks for your help!



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Organizing a complex book - nonfiction

    There are several software programs which incorporate outline/note/organization features. Storymill, Scrivener, Nisus, etc.

    RW

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Re: Organizing a complex book - nonfiction

    Todd,

    It's tough and no matter what system you come up with, there'll be documents you can't find, quotes that get messed up. So regardless excellent fact checking and rechecking is essential.

    It's not too sophisticated, but I keep a database (spreadsheet can work) of all sources. When I cite a source, even just in summary, I put the author name as a note in the text with double parenthesis around it, then I note in the database where each source is used. It can get cumbersome when a passage relies on say an interview and several documents, but I just put them all in. There's probably some fancy way to link the documents in some programs, but I've never gotten around to figuring that out. When a final draft is needed, I go through and search/find all the double parenthesis and take out the ones that aren't necessary for citing and replace the ones that are with proper foot or end notes.

    I'll be interested to see what methods other folks use because I'm sure mine isn't the most efficient.

    Oh, also save document. Publishers employ fact checkers and attorneys to go through your manuscript and often they'll ask for your source material.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    Re: Organizing a complex book - nonfiction

    Or maybe you could narrow the scope of your book.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Re: Organizing a complex book - nonfiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    Or maybe you could narrow the scope of your book.
    Sometimes the obvious smacks you right in the face.

    Like Frank said, and maybe make 2 or 3 books out of your project? IMHO just an idea

  6. #6
    Aver0n 2o11
    Guest

    Re: Organizing a complex book - nonfiction

    Maybe go look at the indexes and content pages of other books similar to yours and see how they split the info.

  7. #7
    martin shaw
    Guest

    Re: Organizing a complex book - nonfiction

    C K Wrote:
    -------------------------------------------------------
    > Todd,
    >
    > It's tough and no matter what system you come up
    > with, there'll be documents you can't find, quotes
    > that get messed up. So regardless excellent fact
    > checking and rechecking is essential.
    >
    > It's not too sophisticated, but I keep a database
    > (spreadsheet can work) of all sources. When I
    > cite a source, even just in summary, I put the
    > author name as a note in the text with double
    > parenthesis around it, then I note in the database
    > where each source is used. It can get cumbersome
    > when a passage relies on say an interview and
    > several documents, but I just put them all in.
    > There's probably some fancy way to link the
    > documents in some programs, but I've never gotten
    > around to figuring that out. When a final draft
    > is needed, I go through and search/find all the
    > double parenthesis and take out the ones that
    > aren't necessary for citing and replace the ones
    > that are with proper foot or end notes.
    >
    > I'll be interested to see what methods other folks
    > use because I'm sure mine isn't the most
    > efficient.
    >
    > Oh, also save document. Publishers employ fact
    > checkers and attorneys to go through your
    > manuscript and often they'll ask for your source
    > material.


    Dats go to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard, sorry read... red. I see red.

    Spread sheet?

    I spread the sheets when I use the public toilets. Its grease proof paper.

    CK, you are an estrogen level... my nipples hurt.......................... you get on my tits.

    Post the name of your stupid book...s

  8. #8
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: Organizing a complex book - nonfiction

    I am not a professional writer, but I use Storymill and love it. I can copy any article that I come across in the research section, along with photos of my characters homes, cars, a wedding dress, engagement ring, things like that to assist in visualizing my world. There is also a timeline and a submission traction section that is very useful.

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