Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Beloved Moleskine

Do any of you writers out there have a notebook? Something that you tote around with you at all times and scribble into it memos for your story, ideas for new stories, and random thoughts? If not, I highly recommend it.

For the longest time, I jotted notes in those huge spiral notebooks. They fulfilled my needs for a blank sheet of lined paper, but that's about it. Pages always tore out, sometimes even got lost as a result. It was aggravating.

Then, my mother-in-law (with whom I have an excellent relationship) gave me my first Moleskine for my birthday. Small, elegant, black, with a ribbon page marker and a smart piece of elastic to keep it together. I love it. I use mine on a daily basis.

A few simple tips for using your notebook:

-Always date your entry, even if it is one line. I find that it is very enlightening to the whole process of writing to be able to have a clear timeline to see how your story unfolded.

-I use an asterisk to indicate a change in the existing text that I need to go back and make. When the time comes for the 2nd Draft, they will be very easy to find.

-I make regular lists of things that I can't forget to include in upcoming scenes. I am fan of the bullet point, as you can see here.

-I make regular checks with my characters. Little notes to make sure that they aren't getting lose in the story. I might even write a tiny little scene in my notebook, to either weave into the story later or just to have for character building.

Well, I hope those helped. I think organization is a very important part of writing. And what better place for it all then in one sleek little book? At the very least, it makes for a good laugh to go back and read what your story looked like five months ago. It's amusing, and encouraging as well.

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