Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Notebooks and Book books

I am a great fan of notebooks.

The ideal notebook is spiral bound, with enough room to slide a pen down in the spiral, hardback covers, narrow lined, with generous margins and preferably an elastic thingy that means that it stays shut in your handbag. Little flaps for saving notes or photographs is nice to have, but the icing on the cake is when the pages have an inspiring quotation or inscription. This makes it a Very Nice Notebook, but also increases the pressure to make sure that anything I write in it is worthy of its inclusion.

I have several notebooks on the go at any one time - journals, ideas books, handy pads to scribble down To Dos or shopping lists, and now, my Book book.

My Book book is a notebook with roses on the front, which is sort of appropriate given the subject matter of my novel and the fact that roses feature significantly in it. My youngest daughter stuck a sticker on it, which says, 'Excellent', which sounds good to me.

I so want this book to be good. Just getting it finished isn't anywhere near enough for me; I think I would genuinely rather not write one at all than write a bad book. I want it to be worthy of it's 'excellent' sticker.

I've written down every idea I've had with regard to this project in my Book book and regularly transfer all the jottings on the subject from other notebooks that were closer to hand than this one when inspiration struck. I then put them on the computer when I'm working on the scene in which they belong.

There are ideas for scenes, connections that I made while driving, in the shower, reading to the kids or just about to drop off to sleep. Even the odd scrap of dialogue or nugget of information to remember about a character. They're all jumbled up in the Book book, waiting to be scooped up and used appropriately when the story is told in full.

Sometimes it's easier to write things on a page with a pen than it is to taptaptap it out on a keyboard. I'm sure that if I'd had an efficient online filing system and started with all my ideas in virtual folders etc, they would be close at hand for transfer into the story when I wanted them instead of having to transcribe them from my scrawl, but my computer skills are basic to say the least, and my filing system non-existent. There are so many documents on this computer that are lost forever unless someone retrieves them for me.

Hence the notebook. My notes for the book. It's almost full, so it must be time to start turning ideas into scenes and chapters.

It's exciting. I am just loving this.

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