Writing when you're not at home.

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Plaidman
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Writing when you're not at home.

Postby Plaidman » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:30 pm

I have heard of some writers that carry a notebook or journal with them during their day to jot down ideas or write scenes that come to mind or other such things.

Do you, as a writer, do this? Do you actually carry a notebook? Or, have you found an easy way of doing this on an electronic device? (Many of us don't walk around with our laptop all day.)

Just curious. I have thought about doing this myself.

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wdarcy
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Re: Writing when you're not at home.

Postby wdarcy » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:52 pm

I do not. Steven King once said that jotting down ideas in a notebook is a great way for writers to immortalize bad ideas. In other words, if the idea is good, you'll remember it, and if it's not good, you'll forget it, and good riddance. :)

I have quite a good memory, so when I get an idea for a story, I simply file it away in my memory bank. However, if I were to "immortalize" it, I would probably voice it in on the Notes app on my iPhone,which is always with me.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

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ostarella
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Re: Writing when you're not at home.

Postby ostarella » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:09 pm

Yeah, good ideas will not let you go. They will eat at your brain. :D

That said, I do tend to write notes on the back of grocery receipts or other bits of paper (some I really shouldn't be writing on :roll: ) when I suddenly think of a way that particularly clumsy sentence could be re-written, or a sudden phrase that clarifies what had sounded like gibberish.

On yet another note, having a notebook or voice recorder thingy can be good if you're on a plane or commuter bus/train, etc - not for notes/ideas but for continuing your current project. I once wrote almost five chapters in notebooks while on a vacation (I only had a desktop so that wasn't going along) and then I transcribed it when I got home.

plughmann
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Re: Writing when you're not at home.

Postby plughmann » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:41 pm

[quote="Plaidman"]I have heard of some writers that carry a notebook or journal with them during their day to jot down ideas or write scenes that come to mind or other such things.

Do you, as a writer, do this? Do you actually carry a notebook? Or, have you found an easy way of doing this on an electronic device? (Many of us don't walk around with our laptop all day.)

Just curious. I have thought about doing this myself.[/quote]


I am focused on whatever else I am doing. I do carry a notebook but usually to jot down things I hear on the radio that I want to follow up on.
Occasionally to document something that I had been trying to remember like another todo list item that suddenly resurfaced. I do not write down story ideas or scenes or things of that nature.

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Brien Sz
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Re: Writing when you're not at home.

Postby Brien Sz » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:55 pm

I always have a notebook in the car and one in laptop bag for such things. I've jotted ideas on receipts, scrap paper and I use my phone. I have to say, most ideas never get used, however, if ideas for when I am rewriting come up, those things certainly get fleshed out further later.

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Re: Writing when you're not at home.

Postby Oldtimer » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:09 am

I jot down a few words on whatever piece of paper is to hand when I get the idea, then rewrite that prompt into my story Ideas exercise book at home. Trouble is, I forget where I put the book. Got four of them on the go at the moment. :?
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Re: Writing when you're not at home.

Postby plughmann » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:50 pm

[quote="wdarcy"]I do not. Steven King once said that jotting down ideas in a notebook is a great way for writers to immortalize bad ideas. In other words, if the idea is good, you'll remember it, and if it's not good, you'll forget it, and good riddance. :)

I have quite a good memory, so when I get an idea for a story, I simply file it away in my memory bank. However, if I were to "immortalize" it, I would probably voice it in on the Notes app on my iPhone,which is always with me.

--Warren[/quote]


Clearly Stevie has a better memory than I do. Always write down everything you might want. You can easily sort them out and judge them at leisure.
Folks should have enough sense to realise that not every idea they write down is the best idea they have to work with and can rank order them while discarding the bad ones.

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Re: Writing when you're not at home.

Postby rob-lost » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:47 pm

Folks "should" do what works for them. I'll do what works for me, which is "if I can't recall it three days from now, I was never meant to move forward with it."

Some use Evernote on their smartphone or tablet. Some keep a pen and paper close by at all times.

If I thought of Post-It! notes way back in the 1940's, but didn't have the wherewithal to move with that idea, then it was a bad idea FOR ME.

So writing down every idea that crosses the mental threshold may not always be a good thing.
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plughmann
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Re: Writing when you're not at home.

Postby plughmann » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:33 pm

[quote="rob-lost"]Folks "should" do what works for them. I'll do what works for me, which is "if I can't recall it three days from now, I was never meant to move forward with it."

Some use Evernote on their smartphone or tablet. Some keep a pen and paper close by at all times.

If I thought of Post-It! notes way back in the 1940's, but didn't have the wherewithal to move with that idea, then it was a bad idea FOR ME.

So writing down every idea that crosses the mental threshold may not always be a good thing.[/quote]


Clearly we need to be selective what we write down, and not write down every random thought.
But if at the time it seems good then I will write it down to be sure I dont lose it.
It is not that hard to filter all the captured ideas later on and pick the best to continue with .
Some of them may not be used for months or even years but I feel better knowing they are there for when I am ready to use them.

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wdarcy
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Re: Writing when you're not at home.

Postby wdarcy » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:47 pm

As Rob says, it all boils down to "do what is best for you." In writing, apart from SPaG, there is no one way to do anything. There is no best way, and there is no worst way. It all depends on what is best for you. And what is the best way for you may be the worst way for someone else.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

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