Yesterday morning I ordered a new notebook for myself. I’ve always liked notebooks with their neatly-lined pages, their clever spiral bindings and solid backs. I’m going to be especially fond of the one I bought today.
It’s designed with the cover art from my latest historical romance novel, Not the Marrying Kind. The cover was designed by Dawne Dominique, and as always, she did an awesome job of translating my garbled “author cover notes” and the pictures locked away inside my brain to the actual book cover. For those who might be interested in a steamy historical romance, Not the Marrying Kind, Book 1 of “The Sunset Series” is now available as an ebook, and will be released later this year in paperback from Secret Cravings Publishing.
Now that I’ve put in a shameless plug for my latest book, let’s move on and get back to today’s topic.
Specifically, writer’s notebooks. Not necessarily ones with your cover art, but ones you use as a writer. You do use a notebook, don’t you?
Writers tend to come up with odd thoughts at inconvenient times. Some authors keep notepads at their bedside in order to scribble down those random ideas — or dreams — that pop into their heads as they drift off to sleep. Other authors I’ve known have given up on the old-fashioned pen and paper methods and now record thoughts and impressions — as well as images — with cell phones.
Technology definitely offers us new possibilities as writers! At least, as long as we can figure out how to use it.
I remember how excited I was when I first got Microsoft Word 2010 and discovered the “Notes” feature. What an idea! I loved the ability to quickly and easily makes notes while I was working on-line…or, that is, I probably would have loved it if I’d ever truly understood how to utilize the feature. I tried. It was confusing, complicated, and for me, far more trouble than it was worth. I made notes but could never find them again. I’ll go back to the old-fashioned, tried-and-true method of putting pen or pencil to paper in my old-fashioned spiral-bound notebook.
What about YOU?
This post — despite my brazen attempt to show off my new story — isn’t about me and my writing notebooks. I know what I keep in mine, and before you ask, yes, I know what a confused, disorganized mess my writing notebooks usually become. I’m not sure there’s an easy, orderly way of compiling random bursts of inspiration or the sudden shoutings of the voices in my head. Might be nice, but it hasn’t happened in all the years I’ve been writing. I don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.
I scribble down lots of sentences. Random thoughts that slip into my head. Things my characters might think or say.
I put down descriptions now and then, thoughts and impressions about places I go, such as that delightful candle shop with all its fragrant, waxy scents rushing at me when I open the door and step inside. Sometimes I paint “word pictures” of the morning skies in hopes of remembering the streaks of gold that herald the arrival of the new day.
What about YOU? What do you capture in your writing notebooks? Do you keep separate tabs? Have you found a way to organize it all?
- Character profiles
- Scene sketches
What’s in your notebook? What methods do you use to record your ideas? Do you include photos? Drawings? Doodles?
I recently read a writer’s challenge: Capture an entire day in a notebook.
What? Are you out of your mind? A whole day? From waking to sleeping? I suppose it would be a good experience, and it would surely result in much fodder for fiction. Still, it seems a bit daunting to think of recording an entire day of personal experiences — every conversation, every activity, every morsel of food eaten, every place visited. Nice idea, but I think I’ll pass, thank you.
Of course, much of that information could be included in a personal journal. Maybe not every moment of every day, but the highlights. Those unforgettable moments, those well-spoken words, those special people who’ve touched our lives on that particular day.
So, I’m asking you again. What’s in your writing notebook? Is it “fiction only”? Or do you use it as a personal journal? Do you save your journals? Forever? What stories or poems have you created from the ideas in your journal?
I hope you’ll leave a comment on this post and share a few thoughts about your writing notebooks or your journals. I intend to make good use of my new notebook, not just as an advertising tool, but as a reminder of my own creative dreams. Yes, those wild and crazy ideas that come into our heads can turn into stories that can become books for others to read and enjoy.
Writing always begins with a thought…so capturing our thoughts and saving them might just be a good thing to do.
Now…your thoughts, please?