Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How to Make a Writing Resource Binder

As promised, today's post is a tutorial on how to make a writing resource binder! I made mine a long time ago, but I never thought about sharing a tutorial for it until last week. It seems like a lot of you are eager to learn how to make something like this, so here we go!



You will need:

* An empty binder (any binder, really. Pretty, ugly, old, new, thick, thin. Your choice.)
* A stack of lined paper
* A set of tabs
* Access to the internet and a printer
* A permanent marker or pen

Step One:
Using the marker or pen, write labels on your tabs. I originally had my tabs written in pen, but I found going over the writing again in permanent marker helps them stand out more. You can label your tabs however you want, but if you want to follow this tutorial exactly, make tabs for developing characters, plotting, editing, and random reference sheets. When you're finished, place them in your binder.

Step Two:
Fill your binder with all sorts of writerly goodness! Obviously, find and print things that correspond with the tab labels you choose so you can organize everything accordingly. Though I don't remember where I got everything in my binder, I'll give you a few links and suggestions to help you get started. The possibilities are endless here!

     Character Development
          * The Fleshy Character Questionnaire
          * Pictures of people who resemble your characters
          * Positive and Negative Character Traits
          * Quotes that remind you of a character
          * List of Phobias (Go Teen Writers)
          * List of Traits (Go Teen Writers)

     Plotting:
          * Scene plotting chart (one POV, or two POVs) (Go Teen Writers)
          * Lined paper for making notes
          * Calendar/to-do list

     Editing:
          * Self-Editing Dialogue Checklist (Go Teen Writers)
          * Lined paper for making notes
          * Weasel Words and Phrases (Go Teen Writers)
          * How to write a one-page synopsis (Amanda Patterson)
          * Cover and Query Letter Checklist (Writers Relief)

     References:
          * Weapon diagrams (ex. bow and arrow, swords, pistols)
          * This amusing gunshot wound chart
          * Lists of fabric types
          * Clothing diagrams (ex. types of sleeves, types of skirts, types of necklines)
          * Diagrams of castle or building layouts
          * List of potential magic and powers (Go Teen Writers has an AMAZING post here)
          * Diagram of an army formation
          * List of army titles (for fantasy, historical, and modern army types)
          * Lists of insults and/or nicknames
          * List of government types (again, Go Teen Writers has a great list here)
          * Notes from your classes (English, History, Psychology)
          * IEP (Individualized Education Program) forms

Step Three:
File everything under the correct tabs. If you want, add a stack of solid lined paper at the front of your binder for quick notes.

Step Four: 

Add the finishing touches! In my binder, I put my own drawn maps, sticky notes, and a random photo advertisement that gives me inspiration in the front pocket. I also cut out the yearly overview section from a 2013 pocket planner and put it over my lined paper at the front. Because of the laminated texture of the calendar, I can write on it with a dry erase marker and it makes figuring out the timeline for my stories a lot easier. But of course, you can add whatever you want here!

Step Five:

Make sure everything is placed how you want it, and you're done! You now have an awesome organized binder chocked full of great resources! And the best part? You can add or take away pages whenever you want!

And there you have it! There are tons of possibilities for writing resource binders. You could add a tab for publishing research, or even create a whole binder for the purpose of plotting just one book. Be creative! No matter what you choose, in the end you'll have an awesome writing tool that will benefit you for years to come. Have fun! :)


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3"23-24

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips Miranda! I am going to see if I have a empty binder sitting around somewhere so that I can start my own! :)

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  2. Same here! LOVE this post saving it to my favorites I am SO going to try this!!!!

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  3. This looks extremely helpful. (Of course mine will be extremely full because I never throw anything out.) :P

    Oh, and that bullet wound chart just killed me. ;) :D :D :D (canned laughter)

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