Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dirty Notes

I have nothing against writing on the computer. I also have absolutely no qualms about writing with physical paper and pen or pencil. But I have to admit that for me personally, writing has come to be a sort of balance between the two.

I mostly write notes--and sometimes the actual stories--for my fiction ideas on the computer, either with Microsoft Word or Notepad. I do my personal journaling of things I have done and how I have or do feel in a notebook, with a pen that I keep clipped on the metal spiral so I don't lose it. The cleanliness of the typed notes and the physical act of writing my personal thoughts both largely contribute to keeping me sane about my different writings, and sometimes life in general.

Until now... Did I say there was a balance? I should have said, "a gross over-balance," with writing on the computer looming threateningly over writing on paper.

I said before that the cleanliness of typing appeals to me, but on the other hand, I am coming to realize that it has hindered me somewhat, in that I am afraid to change whatever I have written on the computer. If I feel the need to change or delete things from notes, I will make an entirely new Word document rather than "tamper" with the one I currently have. This has led to a lot of mess and chaos and many folders meant to organize everything, while in reality, it's hard to find things even with accurate names, just because of how many files I have.

Well, no more! The files will stay because I am loathe to trash anything that I might want to refer to later, but as of today, I am going to be experimenting with writing down anything story-related in notebooks. I will code-name them "Dirty Notes," to emphasize the fact that, since the notes will be on paper, it will be OKAY to scribble, cross things out, write in the margins. Basically go crazy and don't care about how the paper looks afterwards... Well, while making sure the essential words themselves remain legible, of course.

If all goes well, I will be color-coding my Dirty Notes with sticky tabs for notes on Setting, Characters, etc. as I accrue more notes covering different aspects of my story on paper.

FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW, HOLD ME TO: Starting off my "Dirty Notes experiment" by working with Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes, and applying certain topics of the book to my story Six Gifts.

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