often need to convert an object into a standard dictionary for easy serialization. lately this has been using JSON strings for storing.

Short of manual save and load routines that handle the conversion to dict, there are also some approaches that may help automate/simplify the conversion:

Googling:
convert python object to dictionary

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/61517/python-dictionary-from-an-objects-fields

In summary, try looking at:
a = Object()
a.__dict__

to see if it has what you need.

Then, the inverse, converting from a dictionary to an object (during loading):
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1305532/convert-python-dict-to-object?rq=1

class Struct:
def __init__(self, **entries):
self.__dict__.update(entries)

forms are closely related to models

you'll need a way to persist the data.

if it's not tied to a specific directory of content, then it should probably be stored in a database of sorts to allow data lookup.

with pylons that probably means using sqlalchemy

if you didn't enable it in your project to begin with, you'll need to do so now following:
http://wiki.pylonshq.com/display/pylonsdocs/Using+SQLAlchemy+with+Pylons

set up meta.py
set up model

init_model in __init

configure database string in config (development.ini)
sqlalchemy.url = sqlite:///%(here)s/jb-dev.sqlite

environment.py
websetup.py

don't forget!
paster setup-app development.ini

forms are closely related to models

you'll need a way to persist the data.

if it's not tied to a specific directory of content, then it should probably be stored in a database of sorts to allow data lookup.

with pylons that probably means using sqlalchemy

if you didn't enable it in your project to begin with, you'll need to do so now following:
http://wiki.pylonshq.com/display/pylonsdocs/Using+SQLAlchemy+with+Pylons

set up meta.py
set up model

init_model in __init

configure database string in config (development.ini)
sqlalchemy.url = sqlite:///%(here)s/jb-dev.sqlite

environment.py
websetup.py

don't forget!
paster setup-app development.ini