Organizing and Managing Multiple Script Files

Juggling multiple scripts, completed or not, can be overwhelming. As writers, we tend to work on many projects at the same time. However, it can be hard to focus on a single story or script if all your files are mixed together and unorganized. This post will focus on organizing script files and labeling each draft of a script.

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Step 1. Document Files

If you’re like me, you probably have dozens of scripts saved on your computer. After awhile, all these documents can become overwhelming. To keep things in order, make a folder for each script/story.

To do this, open the documents section of you computer and select ‘new folder’. Label each new folder with the title of the script. Then, add all your notes, documents and drafts pertaining to that particular script in its new folder.

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All scripts and documents get organized in their own folder 
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All the documents pertaining to our short film Phyto can be easily found in its specific folder

Step 2. Folder, Folder, Folder

Once you have your scripts in their separate folders, you’ll want to create sub-folders for each category of that script. Do you have notes? PDF copies? Character descriptions? The real organization comes when you create additional sub folders for each category of your script. If you have a document that doesn’t belong in any category, create a miscellaneous folder. Basically, you shouldn’t have any ‘floating’ documents.

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For our 4th short film Sway, I put all PDF versions in its own folder

Step 3. Drafts

They say it takes 10 drafts to make a good script so let’s make sure you’re labeling your drafts correctly.

If I just started draft 1 of my feature script named ‘Title’, here’s how I’d save it:

Title_Draft 1

By saving your scripts like this, you’ll never confuse your various drafts.

Step 4. Rewrites

Okay, so you’ve finished your first draft and are ready to tackle rewrites. Here’s the real trick to staying organized. NEVER REWRITE ON THE SAME DOCUMENT. It sounds like common sense, but a lot of writers will make this mistake and regret it later. The reason it’s not smart to rewrite all on the same draft is because you can never go back to what your original idea was, or see how you previously wrote a scene. So, you’ll want need to save you scripts how we did in step 3, however, with each new draft the number will change. Just follow the sequence of drafts.

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For our fifth short film, there was a total 0f 11 drafts, all of which were organized as such.

The best part about keeping your work organized this way is you never lose any early drafts. Happy writing!

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