I’d say it’s a pretty good guess that most people reading this, especially writers like myself, do almost all their writing on a computer or some other electronic device. And honestly, it’s really useful doing it that way. Sure they have some draw backs, like if your file goes corrupt and you lose a lot of your work. But you can also do things like copy and paste, and easily make copies and share it. Which is quite wonderful!
Now, I do love my computer for doing some serious writing. It’s my main powerhouse, the super hero that stores the words that make my stories. But recently I have discovered its sidekick. A smaller, yet still powerful, tool in my writing. It is….
Yes, a simple, mundane, notebook.
Well, except for this one, this is my special notebook.
Can’t blame a girl for wanting some style, right?
Anyway, allow me to tell you about how I’ve been using notebooks. Which is, to use them to plot out scenes.
See, when I first started writing I was a pantser, just wrote whatever came to mind, with only a vague idea of the plot in my head. Over time, however, I have become more structured about it, plotting ahead and writing things down outside the actually story. I think this is new a discovered power of the notebooks and is just the next phase in finding what helps me as a writer, but is SO USEFUL!
I’m sure most writers have a notebook or something for plot. And so do I, a couple to be exact. Empty pages to be filled with potential plot and arcs and scenes. My notes themselves in the notebooks are often scattered, but it’s nice having these books that you’re able to flip through sitting next to you while write. Plus just the physical act of writing on paper helps get my creative juices flowing.
But that’s not the REAL power that I have discovered.
Put on this blind fold.
Take my hand…
Careful on the stairs!!
Sorry about that, couldn’t let you see the entrance to the secrete layer – we’ll have to repeat this process on the way out – but here we are! The desk drawer!
Here, take this one… no not that one! That one bites! Here, there you go, take a look inside….
See that? It’s a scene. Detailed enough that it tells exactly what’s going on, but simple enough that it’s fast to write. So I can get a good feel of the scene without getting bogged down by writing everything. It’s great! Because as I go through the story, I look at the notes I made about the plot, go to my other notebook and write a detailed sketch of the scene, then write the actually scene, using the scene outline as my guide. This is especially good for long scenes that take a couple of sittings for me to write. The scene is already there laid out, I can always pick up on the train of thought, and it keeps me from getting writers block, because I would’ve got through any bumps while writing in the notebook. Basically, through all the notebooks and plotting, scene outlining and then typing it into the story, it’s just different stages of fleshing out the story and building upon it. It’s really really helpful! So now I love my notebooks even more!
Let me know if you try this, and how it works for you! Or if using notebooks is a daily process in your writing as well. I’d love to hear about it!
So until next time, cheers!