Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wasting Paper

You may find this amusing but I'm worried about wasting my note cards. I only have 200 and access to 1000s more in a few minutes and a few dollars, but I have to worry about these note cards and whether I'm making the best use of them.

TT: Ever wondered why I'm not married? This is one of the 100s of reasons. Why would I put up with a man who would put up with this kind of quirk?

I'm trying to relax and go with this new skill acquisition thing. I may like using note cards to map out a story. Haven't tried it long enough to know. I may be able to recycle or compost those wasted cards. It could happen.

I took the cards with me to work and added some sentences during my breaks. Note cards highlight the one good/bad thing about being the author - the choices. What do I put in? What do I leave out?

In 15 minutes, I literally went from being convinced I didn't have enough material to write to even bother finishing the book to despair over how much story was left and how I could manage to fit it all in. Do I need this kind of stress?

I currently have 5 viewpoint characters. Is that too many? Do they all sound different enough from each other to justify the space?

I start the story with Rhami. I don't know why. I liked the scene, I guess. Jeff the Publisher's rule about continuity would indicate I should end the story with Rhami, too. Can I? Do I want to? I don't know.

As I write things down, I keep coming up with new questions about where the story could go and where I want it to go and why isn't it going that way? Frankly, it's a bit frustrating. This could be why the story isn't progressing rapidly.

Do I dare sigh and repeat Star of Justice wasn't this hard? Nah. I'll take the high road and keep that to myself. 

On the bright side, I've found some good pics about Raven's forest to guide me while writing and some ideas about other things and a bit of excitement about upcoming confrontations. That's good. I need to be excited about this if I'm going to finish. Success breeds success, you know.

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of the way I took notes in high school and college. I used notebook paper, but I had this *thing* about not wasting space on that paper. I wrote super small (like TWO lines of text in between each ruled line) and in the margins. I always used both sides, too. I literally FILLED every sheet of paper with words--wait--strike that. I abbreviated and substituted out of the three other languages I knew (Spanish, French, Latin) whenever it saved space. I also used symbols. Jesus simply became "X" (that's a Greek "chi", not a Roman "ex", and I didn't invent that, early Christians, who were often illiterate, did) "The Gold Standard" in history/economics became AuStan which someone once thought had something to do with the capital of Texas, but it's chemistry.

    On the good side, when it was time to study for a test, I never had more than three pages of notes I needed to study and often only ONE page, while my fellow students usually had anywhere from 12-75 and sneered at me. But I got As, so they wanted to see, or even sillier, borrow my notes. HA! My notes were useless to anyone but me. But they WORKED for me. In thinking about the material deeply enough to figure out how to express it economically, it made it into my brain and I remembered it. And isn't that the point of taking notes?

    The college class where we were required to use note CARDS for writing a term paper was very hard for me. I had to force myself (and it bugged me on a O/C level that's hard to explain) to waste all that empty space and to use only English sentences that others (specifically my professor's grad student assistant) would understand. Completely counter-productive, in my opinion. I had to treat the note-taking more like writing the actual essay, so how did that save time/effort? It didn't. It just meant I had to write that paper twice. About the only thing it was good for was organizing. But (hello!) we did NOT have computers back then. It was a PITA to put things in order on paper without copy and paste. If I were to write a term paper now, I cannot imagine note cards would be productive. For me. Yet I bet there are teachers and professors all over the planet still requiring this method despite there being better ways.

    Bottom line: If it works, USE it. But if it doesn't, don't be afraid to do whatever does work for you, no matter how weird.


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