Thursday, August 23, 2012

Taking notes is a wonderful thing

For anyone who was paying any attention to my facebook posts at all - mostly doubtful there - you'll have noticed that I lost a note I took down on some weapons I'd thought up for one of my characters. This was a disaster as I am one to write from start to finish in a straight run. Jumping all over the place makes me dizzy and confused as to the details, especially with the world I'm currently writing. The disaster of it all was that the very next paragraph was to include the introduction of new weapons and the training in their usage.


Well, I do take notes, as is usually advised by successful authors. I even have that notebook by the bed that's always talked about as a useful thing for late night inspiration or the jotting down of dream. Yes, it is very handy when you wake up from a doozy of a nightmare only to find you have the perfect fodder for a horror or tragedy story.

But! But, I say. They never tell you that you can have too many notebooks!

Here's what I have:

  • 1 notebook in the car with pen attached for those times I'm waiting in a parking lot.
  • 2 notebooks downstairs: one for general projects but it does get used for writing too and the other for writing and publisher lists and agent meetings etc. This last one often gets tucked into my bag along with a pen.
  • Postit notes in two pockets of my bag in case I forget my 2nd downstairs notebook.
  • 2 upstairs notebooks, one with illustration details and jotted notes and the other that nightstand notebook for logging late night inspiration.
  • 15 stickies on my laptop filled with random information on inspiration, odd ideas, publisher info, blog thoughts and ideas, cooking ideas and other random pieces.
  • Too many word files to count per book but luckily most are filed under the right book folder. This latest book is already up to 14 files, mostly with loads of info.
  • Then there are the notes in the actual manuscript that pad out the skeleton I wrote.
I lost one jotted down idea in this and couldn't remember it under my own steam for half a day and even then I only managed to remember one bit of it. It took until just now for me to find the note... 

So, the upshot of all this is that taking notes is a wonderful thing.

But maybe limit the number of places you collect those notes. If you don't you might end up in the same position I was in just a moment ago. Searching through piles and piles of notes to find the single one you really need.

This is a post in the "don't do what I do, do what I say" general line of things. Just sayin'.

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