Whether writing fiction or non fiction. Novels or magazine articles. Readers’ letters or reviews, one of the most important pieces in a writer’s arsenal is the note book.
We’ve all had a snippet of dialogue that’s perfect for our current WIP. Or that great idea for the sub-plot our new play only to have lost it in the recesses of our memories when we’ve come to use it.
I believe note books are essential for a writer. They’re great for scribbling down those little things you can’t or dare not leave to chance.
I also use mine for snippets of things that I cut out of magazines etc. as the image above shows. (The directions for making up a packet of gelatine, required for an idea for a scene.)
There’s so many ways we can take notes. Pads and pencil work well for me, but also the notes app on my phone is a bonus, if I’m out and unable to physically write something down.
My phone notes show just the random things that I’ve stored as I’ve been out and about recently. I confess I’m not a great user of my phone as I find it quicker to write things down. However a writer friend of mine uses her phone for notes much more effectively than I ever could.
She’s often storing pieces of text along with photographs that she’s taken, and then uses them when she’s back at her desk writing.
She’s a great believer in allowing her phone camera to be her note taker. If she sees for example a building that will suit her work, she’ll photograph it from different angles, and then she can use the images when writing later, without trying to remember if the gable was black or green.
Another friend uses a dictation app on his phone for notes, but I can’t get used to hearing myself so I find I rarely use mine.
However you take and store your notes, I’m sure you’ll agree, that a writer without a note book is like a mountaineer without crampons.