Friday, May 27, 2022

Writing Journals, Notebooks, and the "Commonplace Book" as Useful Tools for Book Writers

This past week I sorted old writing files. For each WIP (work in progress), I'd created a writer's notebook, a journal of my journey through the years it took to plan, write, and revise--and eventually publish the book.

Some of these journals date back a decade. It's always a TBT to review them. Quite often, the early plot or character ideas barely resemble the final version. But they are always good seeds.

I know so many writers who have this practice of writer's notebooks or journals. In my particular version, I like to add collage, quotes, articles and research, title ideas, lists of possible scenes, books I wanted to read for inspiration, and a long list of ongoing questions.

For one of my novels, I created character colleges--the purpose? to see how much more distinct I could make each of them. I wasn't succeeding with this goal until I saw the collected images. Very useful.