Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Novel Notebook

Update 19-12-2011:  I've started deleting the words written on the first page of  the notebook.  I'm so embarrassed about the number of times the word look, and its various forms, appear in Denizens that I'll only admit the number if this story is ever publish.  Until then the numbers will be permanently seared into my brain and behind my eyelids.  Whenever I close my eyes I'll see those digits.  It will mock me with its mockery and mockness.  I guess this means the notebook is working.

Update  18-12-2011:  The first page has the title DELETE THESE WORDS. It's a good way to start this notebook.

A couple of years ago I bought myself a black notebook with a red star on it.  I didn't buy it for a specific reason and once I got it home, I had no idea what to do with it.  Somehow I couldn't get myself to use it as one of the books I make notes in for my novels, so for the last two years the thing has drifted from one spot in my room to the next and the next and the next.  It's because it took me this long to figure out what to use it for.

But hey, I finally did, and now is the perfect time to put it to use. Damn, I love Decembers.

To date I have 14 posts on my blog that consists mainly of links to other blog posts, articles, pieces of advice, NaNoWriMo help and so forth.  As it stands I'm busy compiling a new one, and I usually post my links when I have 10 or more. At the start of January I'll share with you guys the great links I've found about queries, synopses, and log lines. There's a video as well.  They're all pretty awesome, so look out for that.

Ugh. I'm babbling again.  The great thing about being on twitter, and my Google reader, is that I always find great advice when I go through my unread items.  When I find the advice I save them as links and post them on my blog for later reference. BUT.  It takes so much time to go through each of those links and find what I need or want.  It's time consuming and takes away from what I could have been doing. Like rewriting/editing my novels, or writing something entirely new, or sleep and read. You get the idea.

So I decided that this December I would start compiling what I'll be calling my Novel Notebook.  What is the purpose of this notebook?  It'll contain every bit of advice I come across that I can apply to my work.  Things like words I overuse, front and center because I tend to not notice when I do it, comma and hyphen rules, showing and telling, notes on editing and proofreading, world building, a list of the 10 Intensifiers You Should Really, Absolutely Avoid, filler and filter words, and whatever awesome advice I can lay my eyes on.

I'll be filling this notebook up starting Monday and as next year progresses.  I won't be using it while I'm busy working on a first draft, I'm excellent at ignoring my inner editor when I'm writing, and will pull it out when I start rewriting it to second draft.  If I do this the right way, I'll probably end up saving myself about two rounds of editing and proofreading which will reduce the time I spend working on fixing my novels.

I kind of want to smack myself upside the head for not starting a novel notebook sooner.  I could have used it while revising SKD and my other novels.  I'm pulling out one of my novels today and will edit/proofread it while compiling the notebook so it'll be a good test run.  Just think how much time I'll be saving by not having to go through all the links I've saved and applying them to my writing.  I'm excited to get started with it.

It's impossible to remember all the good advice agents, editor, writers, and authors share with us so often and this is my solution.  If you have links you've found helpful, please paste them in the comment section, I'd love to add as much info to my notebook as possible.

How do you remember the useful things/advice you read?


  1. I'll check my own notebooks and bookmarks and com back to share them with you ;)