blog Exercise the Muse: The Merit of the Writer's Notebook

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Black Dragon, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Heliotrope submitted a new blog post:

    Exercise the Muse: The Merit of the Writer's Notebook
    by Jennifer Baruta

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    It never fails. I will be napping in my truck at the school parking lot, waiting to pick up my son, when a perfect story idea will hit my skull with the force of a comic book onomatopoeia (BAM! POW! SPLAT!) This sudden smack from my muse will be so inspiring that I will sit, in awe of her genius, moved to tears by the truth and beauty of the enlightenment bestowed upon me. I promise myself that this time I will not forget. This idea is too pure. Too perfect. The answer to my prayers. I can’t possibly forget inspiration so divine.

    But, the school bell will ring, my son will skip out the double doors, open backpack in hand, spilling lunch bag and permission forms and gym shoes out onto the field. I will chase after his belongings, shove them back into the bag, take him home, make him a snack, clean-up said snack, and by the time I sit down that evening at my designated “writing time”, lap top open, white page beckoning me to re-create that moment I felt three hours earlier and… it is gone. Poof. Evaporated. The magic is lost. The muse moved on. I can almost see her, hand in the air, eyebrows raised, ready for that high five, but as soon as my hand is inches from hers she pulls away and, giggling hysterically calls, “Too slow!”

    Cue the writer’s notebook. For the past few months I have managed to outsmart my prankster muse by carrying a writer’s notebook. I have a few, in fact, to be sure...
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
     
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  2. kennyc

    kennyc Grandmaster

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    I carry an journal with me everywhere (nothing fancy - just a spiral college-ruled notebook). That's where (virtually) everything I write begins....well except this post I guess. :)
     
  3. TheCrystallineEntity

    TheCrystallineEntity Dark Lord

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    I carry a notebook everywhere, just in case.
     
  4. I carry a notebook everywhere too, but more for sketching purposes and world building than for story notes.
     
  5. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    I often make notes on my phone since i am prone to losing pencils. Sometimes the ideas are brilliant; sometimes not.

    I woke up after 2 am the other day, got on my phone, wrote "reverse bigfoot," and fell back asleep.

    What is a reverse bigfoot? I have no idea at all.
     
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  6. TheCrystallineEntity

    TheCrystallineEntity Dark Lord

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    A bigfoot with good publicity, maybe?
     
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  7. ApaCisare

    ApaCisare Journeyman

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    Awesome recommendation. I found myself in that sudden enlightenment situation when driving a little while ago and nearly drove off the road because I was so intent on getting it jotted down before I forgot (I pulled over, so no felonies were committed!).
     
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  8. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    These ideas are all fantastic! I have found my notebook very useful for free writing, as well. Does anyone else just sit around writing random stuff until you hit on something that actually, sort of, feels like it could be a story? I love that.
     
  9. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    A bigfoot in high definition?
     
  10. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    Something I've been doing for the past few days is listening to my playlist and writing down whatever I think would be happening to that music. Sometimes I write random whatever. I do a whole lot of puking out random crap until oh, there's a shiny. Keeping that.
     
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  11. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    As for physical notebooks, I have literally like 20 lying around my room, most of them liberally accessorized with sticky notes that say things like "OUTLINE FOR (x story)" or "DRAGONS" or something like that.
     
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  12. Awesome! To be honest, Its great to be on a site with so many people like me, who keep notebooks just scattered around the floor. You guys are great!

    Question: How neat is your handwriting?
     
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  13. kennyc

    kennyc Grandmaster

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    Since I write short, very short, micro prose, poetry and prose poetry I do a lot of what I call wordplay. Just messing around with random words, thoughts, things that pop into my mind and try to write them down, sometimes it is an opening sentence or idea that just keeps going for a bit and quite often becomes the first draft of a poem or other piece. So in a word - yes.
     
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  14. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Master

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    My muse reveals an image in my head that will not go away until I run with it to the point I have either incorporated it into the narrative playing in my mind or it has no further potential use. Thus, a notebook has never served any purpose for me. Sometimes I have to write stuff down and I use A4 7mm ruled refills of 200 leaves when I have to do that.
     
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  15. kennyc

    kennyc Grandmaster

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    This on just popped into my head:

    "Coins on the train tracks, missels in the mind."


    Who knows?...
     
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  16. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    That’s how it works for me too, Kenny. I get a line of words I feel like I have to run with. With you, I’ve noticed, it is often very strong imagery. With me, it seems to be people... whenever I go through my notebook some of the lin s I have are...

    There is a family in Toronto who never do their dishes, and let the cat eat off the table.

    Marcia hadn’t planned on killing her husband.

    Iris was born a hundred years to the day after William Blake died. She was proud of that fact.

    She came to us the way most babies come. Pink and warm and with the correct number of fingers and toes.

    Janet wished she had started this ten years ago. At least that’s what she told me, nestled into the settee, gazing out the window, winding a corkscrew curl around her index finger.

    A lot of them stay like that... just introductory phrases about characters.




     
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  17. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    Difficult to read for anyone but me. Drunk chickenscratch.
     
  18. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    I want to know more about the baby.

    I write a lot of "opening lines," though. The one I wrote last night is this:

    Half of us are dead.
     
  19. kennyc

    kennyc Grandmaster

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    Yes, nice, some of mine start like that too. :)
     
  20. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Master

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    I saw an image of a mammoth riding through a Moroccan city and decided to change my world to an Ice Age world from a climate and geography point of view. I watched Legend of Korra and decided to give my world the technology of the 1930s. This is often how my muse works. I see an image and things seem to happen from there. The notes tend to be of stuff like names, locations and other stuff that I might forget if it's not written down.
     
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