One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Thirty-Eightish

My focus is more on the little red notebook, and still slightly directed towards the oh-shit possibility of a bat getting in. Again. More importantly, I feel I should bow out from last night’s topic idea, if only because I don’t think I could handle it in a way that would read well. The short version, simply put, is there is nothing wrong with seeking help. Life will take you on magnificent journeys, but sometimes you may end up in dark places. Those are the times seeking outside aid shows true strength.

I’m happy to report I’ve added a good bit of detail to my new unnamed novel project, which has its own notebook…and is the newish topic of tonight’s post.

Day Thirty-Eight – Writing prep methods and madness

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My standard writing tools for pre-writing processes. Yes, it’s an old picture. I’m aware. Somewhere, or somewhen I guess, along the line, I started using Moleskine notebooks. It wasn’t a natural process, though, so it ended up being an on-again, off-again practice for me. The problem with my writing, however, is that I’m very quick to jump into a project only to run head-long into a wall. Beginnings are the bane of my existence.

Out of boredom, and perhaps some necessity I hadn’t fully processed at the time, I started writing down details about what was only Joshua’s Nightmares at the time. That little red Moleskine (pictured above) would turn into my very first, and admittedly quite dopey, writing superstition of sorts. I’ve tried writing down novel idea bits in other notebooks, but now I find myself defaulting to red Moleskine notebooks. Is there something special about that particular type of notebook? I mean, red is apparently linked with triggering hunger. I’ve not tried eating my notebooks, though. The short, simple answer is that it’s just a silly preference, of course.

I’m very particular about the pens I’ll use as well. I like being able to write on both sides of each page, and inks that become visible through the paper kind of ruin such efforts. Moleskine’s pens are fantastic, but they’re also pretty damn expensive. Zebra’s steel line of pens are quite possibly some of my favorite things on the planet. They’re fairly cheap, and they produce nice, crisp lines for writing (which can make all the difference between my handwriting being mostly-legible and a giant smear of disappointment). G2 Pilot’s gel pens, though fantastic, are guilty of bleeding through pages on my notebooks.

The notebooks never seem to contain passages from my actual work. When I get to sitting down and writing anything that’s meant to be part of a story, regardless of the length, it’s on one of my computers. I just can’t bring myself to hand-write stories for some reason. All of the characters and locations are fair game for notes, and details about the plot sometimes creep in, but the actual story only ends up as digital media. I may very well consider hand-writing a story in the future as a way to mix things up for myself. Who knows?

Handling my notes with an actual notebook gives me, like anyone else (read as: so many other writers), the freedom to write down ideas before transferring them to their eventual home in a short story, novel, or whatever. The Moleskine notebooks I use are terrific because they’re sized for portability. Maybe one day there will be a pen that I can store in my pocket without, at some point or another, absentmindedly managing to stab myself in the leg.

I’d like to close by asking the following questions:

What practices and methods do you, fellow writers and artists, implement in your craft? Any particular go-to notebook or sketchbook styles? A favorite writing utensil you just can’t go without? Perhaps a specific location to get prep work done in?

Sixty-two days remaining.

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