not rootbeer?

I guess it’s been a while since I posted, huh? I was really on a blogging kick for a while there, then not so much. Maybe I ran out of steam, or content. Both.

It’s root beer, not rootbeer? I want it to be one word. I’m writing a scene in which the characters have root beer floats in a drive-in joint in 1971. Working personal memory for all it’s worth, and more. But according to, it’s two words. Oh well.

I’ve been working on my novel quite a bit. Over the past week, I’ve edited several chapters, organized most of my manuscript files, and some of my notes. I wrote a new outline too. Lots of work. Want to see what a novel looks like before it gets finished, when the files are just sitting in the computer? Sure you do.

click to view

33 Chapters, all nice and neat. Just under 94,000 words in Draft 5. Up until this afternoon, I had it all in a single MS Word document, with headings and sub-heads, and I used document map to navigate.  I decided to try working in singe chapter files for a while, because Vista  – on my new computer – has tagging and stacking functions that let you sort documents by tags, or labels. Keywords, in other words. That might come in handy. Besides, the file was just getting so damn big, ya know?

Each file has an abbreviation, STH, and a number, 01-33. Those are the chapter numbers and STH stands for Someplace To Hide, the working title of the book.

Want to see the whole archive, all the drafts? No. You really don’t. There are hundreds of Word files in a bunch of folders. To get my current 94,000 words, I’ve probably typed a quarter million. E’gads.

Things are always changing. For example, chapter 30 is called Military Honors, because one of the characters is a veteran. Since I wrote that, I’ve decided that guy never did get drafted for Vietnam after all. Now what am I gonna do when I get round to Chapter 30 this time? We’ll see. Right now, I’m working on Chapter 7, again.

I’m interested in how other writers keep their work – projects, notes, files, etc. – organized. How do you keep track of your themes and problems? Network with me!