Structure for Writing A Book

This post is part of an ongoing series of post related to the process of writing a book about educational technology. Learn more about the book here.

I've set up a new writing and planning structure for the book. It's based on Jeff Goins' 3 Buckets.

The old strategy of having everything in one directory was overwhelming and chaotic (and not based on any real structure). It was difficult to stay on track with what had already been worked on and what needed to be worked on next. It amounted to having a lot of unorganized text files, and a lot of todo lists to track things. It wasn't a thought out plan.

The new structure consists of 4 buckets or stages, as I refer to them. Each with it's own purpose.

    1. Ideas
    2. Drafts
    3. Edits
    4. Published

Ideas

Ideas is where most everything goes and everything starts. Anything that I think could become a chapter or section of the book goes in here as a text file. Each text file has the same template with four sections.

Drafts

Draft is where the actual content of the book starts being written. There is enough notes and research to fill a chapter, it just need to be put into a rough draft. When the draft is completed, the file is moved to the Edits stage.

Edits

Now it's time to edit and refine. The rough draft is cleaned up and made ready for print.

Once editing is done, the file is moved to Publishing to be included in the first draft of the book.

Published

This is where my strategy differs from the original by Jeff Goins. Since I am using the stages for chapters in a much larger projects (the book), I am not going straight to publishing then.

Files that end up in the Published stage have been edited and are ready to be added to a 1st draft of the book. When I have all my chapters in the Published folder, I will create a first draft of the book. 

The GitHub repository for the book has already been updated to reflect this structure and you can view the progress here.

Want to discuss? Message me on Twitter (@swoicik) or at stephen [at] woicik.me

Sunday Conversations

Every other Sunday, I send an email about interesting topics to discuss and think about. Enter your email below to be included in the conversation.