Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Adventures of a Mudlark #3 - Process

Because I often get new ideas when I'm supposed to be committed to one WIP, I use the following process to 'capture' new ideas, establish some kind of file, and have something to start with when I pick up the project.

1. For each new project I start a notebook - usually just a simple 72-page Hilroy exercise book.
   This is where I record plot notes, reference materials, passing ideas, character outlines, freewriting of scenes, etc.
2. I also label a plastic folder in which I keep the exercise book, along with any loose pages of print outs, etc.
This allows me to carry some basic materials with me when I'm on the road, at work, etc. as a place for collecting poject-based 'gleanings.'
3. I open an Excel file to record outline/scene notes and
4.  a Word file where I note reference books, links to useful websites, etc. and drafts of scenes.
   Both these are filed in a folder in my home ccomputer with a word or two from the working title - in this case 'Mudlark'

Perhaps the most vital piece of paper in any developing project is a one-page outline grid. Although I am not a great outliner, in the early stages when I'm thinking more than writing, it does help me see connections , and understand where the gaps may be and where things might fit.

This and my constant companion, a coil-bound Cambridge Limited notebook, are the two things I carry with my everywhere, and the plastic project folder comes along if I'm doing more than running to the store for milk or out for a quick coffee.

This is a very low-tech process. I don't carry any digital devices with me(other than a cellphone which holds only very few numbers, and only my husband, my daughter and work have the number) so any notetaking I do on the run has more to do with pen and paper than electronics.


Maybe one day I will find a way to get connected to other tools, but right now I am pretty committed to a process that puts pen to paper as much as fingers to a keyboard 

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