Monday, March 25, 2013

Are you a Sticky Note, Index Card or Electronic Kind of Novelist?

Are you a Sticky Note, Index Card or Electronic Kind of Novelist?

What kinds of ways do you find works for you when writing your novels?  Most of us novelists need a guideline, outline or skeleton to coincide with our novel in progress.  Many of us feel lost if we don’t have some sort of charting to refer to.

I find that all of it works for me at different times.  I have days when I would like to just get it into my notebook on my HTC tablet and other days when a handwritten notebook works well.  The drawback with the HTC tablet or another kind of electronic device is that you have to charge it up periodically and perhaps when your moment at hand to write down notes is when your tablet is in the red or orange and you will have to wait to get it charged up to full speed.

I’ve often enjoyed Evernote, which is connected to my laptop and my HTC. 
But sometimes, I would rather be old fashioned and write notes into a cheap grocery store notebook of some sort.

I’ve often resorted to index cards.  At different times of my novel writing days, I have jotted interesting things down on index cards to later use in something.  That is a fun thing to have perhaps a box filled with index cards full of ideas of any sort.  It can be utilized as a box full of thoughts for possible prompts and perhaps by using that method you will discover your next novel of choice.

Also, the clustering idea has been put into use by many writers.  I learned this technique once years ago in a woman’s writing class.  My instructor was filled with really neat ideas.

I don’t use the clustering method recently, but I have in the past for one of my novels, that has never been finished.  Well, I kind of finished handwriting it and I got it typed and it’s on an old zip drive, but I know that one needs lots of editing as it is one of the early novels I wrote years ago.  Called Gracie Bee Mollyockett.
After writing up a new guideline for my novel, I am going to try sticky notes.  It’s kind of a fun thing to just jot down some notes, then later take them into where they need to go and add them into your novel.  And of course there’s always room for elaborating.  I’m not sure what I am going to do with my sticky notes after I am done with them.  I was thinking of putting each session into a Ziploc baggy but I’m not sure I want to do that, but I want to file them in some order as the novel goes,  May-be little envelopes instead with the date I wrote them and then it can be filed with the guidebook.

Maybe I will check mark it to let myself know it got written in.  I did this editing with the sticky notes yesterday and rewrote the first chapter a little bit.  I had wanted to give more descriptions to certain characters, and I wanted to get Heather’s dad in the novel early on, as before that he gets talked about but never entered the novel.  Now he’s in it.

I guess everyone has their own way of creating notes and guidebooks, etc that works for them.  Some people like mapping and a very in depth outline when working on novels. 

Not everyone can do this though, sit down and write a very detailed outline of how the novel is going to be.  I’m the kind that sort of writes as I go.  I follow the road as it leads me down an unknown path of where the novel wants to take me.

And then, other novelists want to know exactly what is going to happen every step of the way.  To each his own.

But I will say having a guideline and keeping notes really helps as I go along.  And I had to do this in case my laptop dies.  I need a hard copy of the information.

Ideally it is probably a good idea to print out your novel as you go along, at least once, so that you have a hard copy of the novel to edit from too.  Some novelists like to print the whole thing out, so that they can put sticky notes on top of each printed page.  I may do this in the future.  But I think I would need to make sure my printer will print the text well.  It’s a finicky printer.  My photography prints out great while the text pages kind of get faded.  But that could just be due to the ink running out.
Anyhow, have fun creating little notes of any sort.  It’s all good.

Jennifer Jo Fay
Copyrighted March 24, 2013

Sticky notes are kind of fun.  If you don't always feel like writing a lot, this can be a quick fix and get you where you need to go.

I think I have also used clustering for poetry.

I always love writing on a large size index card too.  I was doing this a lot earlier in the year.

It's always good to have these handy little notebooks on hand to use for anything and you never know when you are going to get a call from somewhere and you need to jot down an address or phone number.  Love, love, love these.  
I just always love having old fashioned paper products around as you aren't always near the laptop and sometimes we are in our cars waiting in traffic and thank god we have our paper on hand.  And most of us at one time or another have had to resort to writing on a napkin.

I need to do this later today.  I may even get a chapter in!  Or if I don't it's because I turned into Chicks With Sticks for today and am going to work on another shrug.  Actually right now, I am working on a dress for an American Girl doll.  I'm on the skirt part and I am very much questioning the size of the skirt.  It seems way too large, yet I am working on the right size needles for the project.

And these are awesome too.  I've used the little Ever Note journals and other little journals off and on.  

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