Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Making Notes

I'm waiting for the Demon Collector to be sliced and diced by the lovely editor at Bloomsbury. This gives me time to focus on all things Mortlock, considering there are only four weeks left until launch! I've contacted local press and radio and organised a few school visits around the time too. Mortlock actually comes out slap bang in the middle of the Easter break which has pros and cons.

Amazingly, I also find myself with the time to think. Like many writers, I use a notebook to jot down ideas. I'm not as fastidious about carrying it with me at all times.

When I get an idea for a book, I quite like to dedicate a single notebook to that project. Nothing else must sully its pages! I also like to make my own notebooks. I try to vary the pages size, colour, texture. Something about this seems to improve my thought processes. It's a bit of a ritual. I like to find images that are relevant to the project and stick them on the cover in a collage. The rougher the notebook, the better. I even bind the pages together with garden twine.


Maybe the notebook seems more like an extension of my thoughts, or maybe I just like the simple task of cutting and gluing. The beauty of the notebook then is I can rearrange the pages into an order later but scribble as thoughts come to me.

It works for me.

Do you use notebooks? Anyone else make their own? Or is it just me?

14 comments:

L-Plate Author said...

Jon, I could never make my own for two reasons. One, there are far too many notebooks out there to tempt me. A stationery shop is my version of a sweet shop. I remember when I first went into Borders at Cheshire oaks...

The second thing is that I haven't got the talent ;)

Good luck with the launch, can't wait to read Mortlock. I might get to pick a copy up in person if you're not too far away x

Sue Hyams said...

Just you! I'm a Moleskine girl and love the ever building row of little black books on the shelf. Having said that though I just love the idea of your garden twine notebooks. A brilliant idea. Looking forward to reading the Demon Collector and REALLY looking forward to Mortlock coming out! Good luck with both.
x

DOT said...

I love your notebooks. I am not half so well disorganised in a totally organised way as you.

I tend to scribble a note here, a note there; some in longhand, some on one or other of my electronic devices. A complete jumble much like the way I function.

But, like you, I do do loads of spider maps. Does it help? Who knows.

Caroline said...

That's such a good idea! the binding would worry me, in case I couldn't get it right.

I have to have a new notebook for every novel and nothing but novel-related snippets can enter that novel. I've been known to write things on my hand, rather than spoil the pages...

Also - 4 weeks! HOW EXCITING!
x

Michelle said...

Now I am a bit of both! I love notebooks and I hoard them 'squirrel-like' for every new project. However my little lady wanted me to a notebook with her, which I dutifully did and then proceeded to make one for myself - which I am using for character sketches and place descriptions (including photos etc). How strange as my current post on my blog isabout notebooks too.
M
x

SueG said...

I'm all about ritual. I have a new Red n Black A4 notebook for each new project and a small moleskin that I carry around and a larger one that I keep by my bedside. But make one myself? And skip a "work related" shopping opportunity? No way.

kathryn evans said...

Oh dear, am a bit ashamed to reveal this...I scribble on ANYTHING at ANYTIME and staple it all together in a continuous expanding mess. Its' disgusting like the inside of my brain or the top side of my desk. The nearest to organised I get is index cards bound together with elastic bands - a different bundle for each project.

TBH , I prefer the backs of envelopes. I am a SLATTERN! But i loved your notebooks....

Sue Eves said...

Jon, I love your handmade books. Does the twine mean you're a gardener too?

I can't believe your launch is only 4 weeks away - sounds like you're ready for it

Good Luck!

JJ Beattie said...

Oh what a fabulous idea. I've made books before - I've done some book binding courses which are wonderful but I don't use those I've made for writing notes.

The truth is closer to what Kathryn described but I'm not even so organised as to staple them together! Some notes I just never find again!

Empress Awesome said...

I like having separate notebooks for different stories too... although I'm broke,so that normally doesn't work out. Mostly I have separate groups of looseleaf paper that I just fold over to distinguish between ideas. But when there's no paper, I just make a note in my cellphone.

The annoying thing about that, though, is then you need to type it and as you're typing more ideas keep flowing and flowing and you can't decide whether to copy the old ideas or just start typing the new ideas and then it gets all confused and you go crazy and lose your train of thought and have to reread it to make sense or else just freewrite so you don't lose the idea and make sense of it later and then you realize that you have to pee really badly resulting in the biggest decision of your day but holding pee in can be dangerous so you run to the bathroom and can't remember your great idea when you get back and suddenly you realize that you couldashouldawoulda brought the laptop into the potty with you so you could do both and you become depressed and intake too much dark beverages.

Or something like that.

Jon M said...

Thanks guys, maybe it's me.
Empress: Blimey...

Liz Fielding said...

I buy notebooks but can't bear to mess them up by writing in them. And I write faster using a keyboard. I just have to remember stuff until I get to the computer!

dirtywhitecandy said...

This sounds lovely. I collect inspirational pictures for a sort of mood board for my WIPs, but never thought of assembling a complete notebook for each one. Trouble is, I would probably get so absorbed in making the perfect book that I'd forget to do any work in it.

Jon M said...

Liz: My head is like a seive and I need to note stuff down.

DWC: I do worry that it's just another displacement activity but it's fun!