Organise my writing
November 11, 2007 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Help me keep my keep my short stories organised, with a view to putting them on a web-page.

I have a habit of writing 'short stories' when I have some free moments - they can be anything from a few sentences to a few pages long. Sometimes I write them straight into Notepad, sometimes in an email to myself, sometimes in an online journal. I've gone through and collected most of them into one big .txt file with the format:

############ Title

Storytext in paragraphs


############ Title of next story

.. and so on. The titles use the same number of hashes each time.

The whole textfile is about 100 kb, ~17,000 words, 40 'pieces' averaging 425 words each. Now I'd like to put them all on a personal website. So I have two questions for y'all:

(1) How should I store/organise them?

It'd be nice if I could do things like mark up and edit titles and text, add taglines and pictures (and tags?), generate an index of the stories, add new stories to the collection etc.. without having to do a lot of copy-pasting within a big text-file. Is it sensible to move them into an Excel spreadsheet, or something like it, to make them easier to organise and export? If so, is there a way to do this automatically?

(2) How should I present them?

On one single webpage, or with individual pages? I draw and make collages and things, so some of the stories already have pictures illustrating them and I'd like to do that for more of them too, but I'm not sure of the best way to keep the images in a way that links them to the appropriate stories. Should I try and sort the stories into categories, by length, or just alphabetically by title? Should I add tags to them? Let people rate stories and sort them by popularity? If so, I'd like to do these things as automatically as possible, including generating a sensible index to keep track of/link to them - but how?

I'm using Windows XP and have a copy of Dreamweaver, and Nvu - I have more experience with the former. I have a basic handle on most aspects of simple web-design, but I'm far from an expert and don't really have any experience with things like CGI scripts (though I could give them a go).

Thanks in advance for any advice.
posted by Drexen to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
First, your best bet is to organise the stories into categories for your story index so as to make them easy to find.

I'd suggest creating individual web pages for each story as it would reduce download time for any illustrated stories. and allows you to use a template that would reduce the time it takes to create a web page.

But if you wanted to keep it as one giant text document, you can easily convert it to html and add anchor tags to link back to your index.
posted by Kioki-Silver at 8:56 AM on November 11, 2007

WordPress will save your life for this.

It's very easy to set up on a web server, and (aside from modifying the config.php file) you'll never have to touch code if you don't want to.
posted by SansPoint at 9:16 AM on November 11, 2007

Response by poster: A CMS (especially WordPress) looks like it could well do the job and have some advantages I hadn't thought of - thanks.
posted by Drexen at 10:30 AM on November 11, 2007

Response by poster: ... the only thing I would say is that I'm not particularly planning to start a blog, so if anyone has suggestions for Content Management Systems that are particularly easy to use for generating static webpages then that would be much appreciated.
posted by Drexen at 10:47 AM on November 11, 2007

PMWiki is awesome, I used it to build a whole website for my wedding, and it all saves to a single flat PHP file, so it's easy to maintain. And you can skin it so it doesn't have that 'Wiki' look n' feel.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:44 PM on November 11, 2007

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