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N Is For Notes

For the Blogging From A to Z Challenge I’m doing you all a huge favor and filling you in on the 26 Things To Hate About Writing.** I’m hoping by the end of April, I will have convinced all of you not to indulge in the wild insanity of becoming a writer. If I can save even one person from offering themselves up in sacrifice to the mad and fickle word gods, I will have done some good in this world.

Check out each letter’s post here.

NOTES

Ignoring all logic and common sense, I continue to write stories. Sometimes I write big stories, that span multiple books, because apparently I don’t care to minimize any disaster I create. Despite all the advice I’ve tried to give you up until this point, you’re probably going to keep writing stories too, aren’t you? You absolute masochist.

Well, if you’re going to write stories, and if you’re going to write stories that turn into a series, and even if it’s just contained to one book, you’re probably going to need notes. One of the worst things about writing is trying to keep things organized and not forget an important plot point like the magical cat that showed up in chapter three and then disappeared. You also can’t go about all willy-nilly changing people’s names and appearance. But, here’s the problem with notes:

– They will remind you how dumb you are. How did you start off writing sci-fi and turned it into a western halfway through? Wait, why did I add hockey players?
– If, like me, you write things down on paper, you’re probably at some point going to write something down that later makes no sense and wonder what’s wrong with your brain. The phrase “hot buttered lobsters as hockey pucks” really doesn’t help me out, self.
– You might lose your notes, like you’ve already lost your mind.

Notes just remind you what a strange, forgetful person you are. The kind of person who writes about cowboy hockey players in space. Never mind that notes help you organize your thoughts, keep plot points in order, and eliminate lost story threads, making for a tighter, cleaner manuscript. Who needs notes? Not you. Not me! Just throw anything in there and stir it all together, like the world’s worst vat of jambalaya. Someone will eat it. Just tell them it’s ‘art.’


**Disclaimer: If you haven’t figured it out, these posts are pure satire and simply a humorous way to vent my writing frustrations. No offense is intended to anyone. Please, become or continue being a writer. It’s awesome, I swear. It’s super…duper, awesome…heh heh.

Megan Morgan View All

Urban fantasy and paranormal romance author.

35 thoughts on “N Is For Notes Leave a comment

  1. *masochistic high five* …wait, no.

    Hehe true story: I skype with my Mom every week and she always makes notes through the week of things she wants to tell me. But then when we talk she’ll look at the paper and say “Canvas never bridges?” and turn it round so I can decipher her hand writing into “camping glow bugs” XD so she can say “OH YEAH!” and tell me whatever the story was. Hehehe!

    I used to write notes on my hand, because you’ll lose paper but you won’t lose your hand! …but then you have to wash your hands, so it wasn’t a foolproof system.

    Here’s my “N” post 🙂 http://nataliewestgate.com/2017/04/noticed-secret-diary-of-a-serial-killer

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    • LOL that’s hilarious! I definitely can’t read my own handwriting or figure out what a phrase means sometimes, even if it made perfect sense when I wrote it down. You’d think by now I’d learn to be a little more clear with myself.

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  2. I have so many notes on so many different topics for each of my stories, that they start getting hard to keep track of, so I resort to putting them in binders and manila folders and keeping them with my stories. I even put them in folders on my laptop just in case I lose the physical copies (who am I kidding, of course I will). Did I mention before that I need help? 😛

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  3. The amount of notes can get almost as big as the book itself. I have different categories: one file for timeline, one for things to be changed, one for a sub-plot that might be added… then I can do a pass for each one, kind of breaks things down into manageable chunks.

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    • True story, as I told someone else in a comment: I have an old note card stuffed in a book somewhere that has notes on it from a story I don’t remember writing about 20 years ago. I have no idea what the notes mean, and I keep it for sentimental reasons. Strange and forgetful indeed.

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    • Ha! Isn’t is funny when you find the notes for something old? I weirdly enough still have a note card tucked in an old book with notes on it for a story I don’t even remember writing (this was probably 20 years ago). I keep it just for sentimental reasons, even though I don’t understand what it means.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Megan I went so far as to buy a bound composition book for my notes, but so far they are only on the chalkboard of my mind. Dusty erasers and all this seems to be my preferred way, although with the theme I chose for the A to Z Challenge I do have some stuff in semi-stone to draw from. What I will have to do when it is over is copy and paste all 26 days into one word document so I can refer to it. Sure, I am only in the concept phase and most everything is ripe for edit, but the more I write about it the more the characters become real and I feel the strange loyalty of “Oh no you don’t, don’t even suggest changing their name!”

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    • I definitely keep my notes written down, I’m just used to it. But that’s great, that your characters are starting to come to life that way! Remember I warned you about characters in earlier posts? 😉 Well, here they are!

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  5. The “notes” app of my phone is a big mess of crazy thoughts that only make sense to me. I’ll be walking at the gym or at lunch and a great idea will hit me all at once! But when I’m working on a manuscript, I’ll also put notes at the bottom of where I’m going next with a certain thing…or what I should check for during the revision process. Those notes are lifesavers.

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    • Definitely! The funny thing about most writer’s notes is how disjointed they are to everyone else, when they make perfect sense to us. If anyone ever read them, they’d think we were crazy. 😉

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  6. Err… well, now I have to confess something: I take lots of notes. And it is getting worse as the time passes.
    When I started writing, many years ago, I would never take notes. Never. But then I started jotting down ideas and lists of names. Then it got worse, because I started compiling synopsis and plot breakdowns, I wrote up entire notebooks of these stuff. Then a few years ago – but you have to promice you won’t tell this to ANYONE – I started using a writers’ program to keep all my notes organised.
    It’s a disease, I’m sure!

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

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  7. First off, I’m a sadomasochist.

    My last book, I had so much notes, that I developed a new system for organizing notes all together. It’s my hope one day to teach others how to do this. I actually wanted to do it on Udemy, but my computer is not powerful enough to render videos anymore. Once I can get a powerful computer (buy my books so I can get a better computer) I want to teach people how to take their note taking into the 21st century. The basic idea of it is building your own encyclopedia.

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    • It sounds like it would be a helpful system! I’ve tried to use a few things like Scrivener, but unfortunately I’m set in my ways and I just like to write things down in notebooks. You should definitely develop your system though, I’m sure it would help many authors.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve had a lot of writers try to convince me to use Scrivener, and it’s a good tool, but not for me. I really hope to use develop my system so others can make use of it. Nothing wrong with writing things down. I often use Notepad (Start>Run>Notepad). But what happens when you have over 100 notes, or 1000? It’s easy to let ideas fall through the cracks. My system has a solution for that, which would still support the system you prefer.

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