It’s hard to organize my writing. I have my manuscript, which I like to have in one document, as well as split into separate documents for each chapter. Then I have my research — in this case, research on forensic psychology, on serial killers, on true crime cases, on forensic science. I have character profiles, notes on my crime scenes (including the evidence discovered and the victimology, among other things) — and if you put all of these things together, it adds up to having approximately two to six documents up at one time.
The other day, I found the solution to all of my writing issues. Its name is Scrivener, and it’s the most amazing program to ever grace this planet. I now can have all my information in one place, split the screen to reflect what I need, have floating windows that have reference material inside. It has a template for a novel manuscript; it allows me to even have a murder board, and multiple murder boards within the main one. It’s unfathomable.
Each time you make a new “page” within your project, you have an index card attached to it, which allows you to summarize that part of the manuscript. And that, of course, makes it super easy to outline. And don’t even get me started on the full screen mode.
Here are some screen shots of my particular work in Scrivener: