Oh yeah. I seem to have forgotten that this is a writing blog. :) So... let's get back to that, shall we? :)
I started working on my current WiP back in January, so it's going to be a WiP for a nice, long time. I'm ok with that. I'm not in a big, crazy hurry. Real Job and Family certainly derail my efforts, and since both Real Job and Family center around young children, it's not hard to see why they often take priority. That's cool with me. My WiP is like a good friend.... it understands when I'm gone, and when I return, it's like I never left. We pick up right where we left off. In fact, my recent necessary time away was actually well-timed, since I was coming to a point in my WiP where I was getting stuck on the same darn thing over and over, and it will be nice to look at it again with fresh eyes.
Although I've plotted out several whole novels before, this is the first once I have taken a stab at seriously writing. I've realized about myself that when I plot and plan everything, then I lose interest in writing it. So now I know that I need to leave some mystery for myself and let the plot drive itself sometimes and just see where it goes. That, for me, is what keeps it fun.
But since this is my first serious effort, I am running into an issue that is new to me, and that is organization. In past efforts, I always started at the beginning, wrote a few chapters, then it sort of began to feel forced and fizzled out. This time, I started with a scene about a third of the way into the story, then backed up to the beginning, then a scene in between, then changed the beginning, and so on. I realized that figuring out how to organize is going to be a must for me. I looked at a few of the programs out there, like yWriter, but I don't like to write within programs like that. So then I just decided to give each "chunk" (I am calling them chapters but not really sure they will all work out that way) a separate Word Document and I'm keeping them together in numbered order in a folder. That's working as far as organization, I can find things, and I can jump around quickly and easily without losing track of anything, but it feels odd and disjointed. Worse yet, I really like the feel of pen on paper, and I have been writing mainly on my laptop but my best work so far has been done on paper and then transcribed. Time consuming, and then I can't help but edit as I transcribe, which is not unlike quicksand in how sucked in I get and lost in what I already wrote. I know, save it for revisions!
So... novels are long. How do you organize your working document as you write?