marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
"Ascribe" is the numbering system I've developed for filing creative work. Someone asked about it, so I'm documenting it here.

I use the codes as filenames; I also write them in the corners of pieces of paper, so I know where the page belongs if it gets lost. And I use them for labelling chapters in draft manuscripts; otherwise you have beta readers saying "In chapter seventeen..." which might not currently be the seventeenth chapter.

So, every major project has a work code, which is a single letter (case doesn't matter). My current WIP happens to be B. Then the numbers for chapters look like "B3115": a letter followed by some digits. Usually, there are four digits; the thousands digit shows the part of the story (1=setup, 2/3=confrontation, 4=resolution) and after that the numbers go up in tens so I can easily squeeze new chapters in. For example, the chapters in B2 are currently B2010, B2030, B2041, B2051, B2060, B2081, and B2110.

Beyond that, subsections of chapters are informally numbered with a decimal point (so, B2010 might have B2010.1, B2010.2...).

And I often write a draft number before the work code, so 3B2010 is the version of B2010 in 3B, which is the third draft.

There are a few special work codes:
  • "i" is for numbering any issues that need resolving in anything.
  • "X" is for numbering pieces too small to need their own work code (e.g. "Jack by the Hedge" is X12).
  • All poetry is in work code "T" (e.g. "Examination" is T132).
It seems complicated, but it's grown over many years and it works for me.

 

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