Dreams · Editing · Wednesday Wanderment · Writing

Seriously Cool Idea

Novel in a  Notebook!

I may SERIOUSLY have to do that for my next novel. I am one of those super organized people when it comes to much of my life, but when it comes to novel-writing, I’ll admit that I have notes and random scribblings stashed around in various notebooks//journals. That sounds like a FABULOUS idea.

As well, one of the posts I discussed yesterday in my Wednesday Wanderment talked about writing a novel in a notebook first before transcribing it into the computer. I actually may try this as well. I love the feel of pen and paper. It is so romantic and it can really help me, personally, to get into the zone a bit better. The interwebs are just so distracting!

What do you think? Novel in a Notebook might be a good idea? Do you ever write your novels down on paper first? I’d love to hear from people who organize their stories physically in a notebook and those who also write their first draft on paper! Share, share, share!


9 thoughts on “Seriously Cool Idea

  1. What I do is get a journal and pour all my brainstorming into that. It’s usually with me for a full month as I just write whatever comes to mind about the story in question. It’s not in any order, but usually answers a few questions. Questions, answers, characters, plot ideas, and various other types, I even sketch in it if necessary. Then, once the brainstorming is over, I pull the information out of the journal and type it up on the computer, putting it in order. Print it and put it into a binder then, when I write on that particular story, I pull it out and use it as reference material.

    I have also tried to write my stories out on paper, but I usually find that after the first or second chapter I move to the computer because I type faster than I write. I also have less risk of my kids drawing on the finished product as opposed to using a notebook. But that’s just me 🙂

    1. Haha, gotta watch out for pets and kids when writing on paper, for sure. What a cool way to keep track of your notes! I have got to try something that’s a little more organized. Thanks for stopping by, Lady Kins!

  2. LM,
    Thanks for the post and the link. This technique sounds a lot like a written outline. As an unabashed “pantser,” I’m not sure it would work for me, but I’m intrigued by it. I get frustrated writing longhand because my brain works quicker than I can write (plus my penmanship is atrocious), though it does force me to really think a lot harder and concentrate on the words. Good luck!

    1. I am also a “mostly” pantser writer. I do, however, like to plan out characters and their personalities. I often sketch their appearance also. I like to have the first couple of scenes outlined, but then I sort of write it on the fly from there. Thanks for visiting!

  3. OK, stupid question time from someone who has never written a novel, but might like to some day:

    – Why not use a spreadsheet?
    – Why not use OneNote or other note organizing application?

    Why does it have to be a physical notebook and paper? (Of course, my problem is that my handwriting is barely legible, and even though I can write 20-30 wpm (you try it!), I can type 80-100 wpm)

    1. I think you could certainly do those things, Bill. I think a lot of writers, though, really do love (and miss) the feel of a pen in their hands and the physical act of forming words with the stylus. Paper has a smell, too. I miss that smell sometimes when I’m typing. Don’t get me wrong, I love to type. I am a super-fast typer and it is a very efficient way to write novels. I do miss writing in notebooks sometimes. 🙂

  4. My handwriting was always poor when I was young. Barely passible. When I was about 14, I learned to copy morse code to get my amateur radio license. As I progressed to higher speeds, I had to modify my writing technique to copy faster. I never learned how to copy behind — where you are writing the characters from several letters or words ago.

    This process left my handwriting even less legible. I still write on paper frequently. I never was much of a note-taker in school, but when I entered the job market after graduation, I made it a habit of taking notes at every meeting. (I wish I had my nearly 12 years of notebooks from when I worked at Hayes Microcomputer Products — there’s enough material for a good book in there — but they are long gone, I left them when I left) The notes are less for future reference, but more to fix the material in my mind.

    Maybe this is what I need to do in Hapkido — write down my 95 techniques so I can remember them.

    So, to me, reference material is best in an electronic form. Writing with pen and paper is for stuff you want to remember. Isn’t that weird?

    1. That makes sense, I suppose. I always keep my “real” journals on paper. As far as handwriting goes, mine was pretty bad until about second grade. After that, it made a huge turn for the better, which is honestly pretty typical for female children. I learned in all my teaching courses and in anecdotal evidence that females develop small motor skills a bit faster than boys do, etc. Most boys tend to improve their handwriting with cursive because the hands don’t have to pick up the pencil as often. It’s a grand shame that some schools are taking out cursive (shakes head…) In high school//middle school, I made a conscious effort to change my handwriting. I actually sat and copied the alphabet in different styles until I made the one I wanted. I write this way to this day! It is definitely doable to improve or change one’s writing, but it takes lots of practice and work. It can be boring, I suppose, but I’ve always enjoyed it. 🙂

      1. My daughter Lauren has even worse handwriting than I (if that’s even possible). When we homeschooled her, Theresa has the epiphany that 100 year ago, everyone had good penmanship. She started Lauren doing a number of exercises, and her writing improved greatly.

        But good penmanship isn’t a super valuable skill today, so we don’t teach or drill it enough.

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