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Keeping track of ideas and the like...

SDNess

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Jan 4, 2004
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233
When you have a great idea spring into your mind and want to keep it for you story, what do you do? Anyone keep little notebooks with them or at home or files on the computer, etc.

Also, what is your writing process like? Do you pre-write and take notes first? Do you handwrite then type?

Do you plan out your story or just let it come to you as you write?
 

Allyn

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This is discussed in detail in the Process; or how do you write thread, mostly around the end of page 2 and page 3 :)

I say this mostly because i don't feel like explaining how I keep track of my ideas again, and discuss the same things over so recently. No offence or anything :)
 

Brian G Turner

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Still, it's a specific question so I see no harm in allowing this thread it's own room. :)

I used to write notes in long-hand, but was not always veryu ordered with the notes.

Nowadays I type all my notes, and keep them as separate background files within the same folder as the story itself. That way I can keep everything together. :)
 

Elysium

chemist in waiting
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Dec 26, 2003
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I'm a notebook person. Unfortunately sometimes I can forget the idea before I get my hands on a notebook. (I always manage to have the best ideas on the days I leave home without the botebook). Recently I started leaving a dream journal near my bed so I can write that down for inspiration too. Wouldn't you know that of course I have been having dreamless sleep ever since :rolleyes: .
 

littlemissattitude

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I keep a writer's journal, so most of my ideas get written down there, sometimes after having been jotted down on things like the back of grocery receipts. But I think it's interesting that the really good ideas never seem to go away. If I am not in a position to write them down when they first occur to me, they seem to keep circling around until I can write them down. Some, in fact, won't get out of my mind until I do write them down. That's one way I can tell if it is an idea worth writing down. A lot of the ones I do write down right away, so that I can't subject them to that test of them staying around, end up getting tossed when I go back to them because they don't seem like such good ideas on second viewing.
 

Brian G Turner

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Elysium said:
I'm a notebook person. Unfortunately sometimes I can forget the idea before I get my hands on a notebook. (I always manage to have the best ideas on the days I leave home without the botebook). Recently I started leaving a dream journal near my bed so I can write that down for inspiration too. Wouldn't you know that of course I have been having dreamless sleep ever since :rolleyes: .
That's why I ended up using a mnenomic system. :) (I tink I mention that on the thread Allyn pointed to).

A notebook by the bed is also a very good idea. It can be especially useful for inspired moments before sleep - you can really fixate on matters then. However, at some point you just have to stop and go to sleep. :)
 

SDNess

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Jan 4, 2004
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233
I keep a file on the computer for notes. I usually scribble my notes on different pieces of paper whenever I get an idea. For example, during school a lot of ideas come into my head during different lessons (mainly history, Latin, science). I also tend to get ideas when I run. Its harder to keep track of them though because my brain gets extremely fatigued when I'm at the climax of a 6-8 mile run.:rolleyes: Like many of you said, whenever I have my notebook, the ideas never come. Quite annoying.:p
 

Elysium

chemist in waiting
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I said:
That's why I ended up using a mnenomic system. :) (I tink I mention that on the thread Allyn pointed to).

A notebook by the bed is also a very good idea. It can be especially useful for inspired moments before sleep - you can really fixate on matters then. However, at some point you just have to stop and go to sleep. :)
What is this sleep that you speak of? who sleeps? :)
I also like index cards because then you can put ideas from two separate pieces next to each other and mix it up a little.
 

Allyn

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Calgary, Canada
am I the only one that doesn't write down notes of stories here? Cool :)

before I ramble though, i wasn't detracting from the thread earlier, just pointed out it was under discussion in another, plus from another forum I moderate duplicate topics were usually deleted or locked, so old habits die hard. Sorry there :)

Ok, anyways, i don't write it down. I have never been very good at writing down my plans for my stories, and I usually would end up not following it at all, or writing it up quickly at the end (if it was required as a part of the assignment).

I know I really should write them down, but I can't yet. Whenever I have tried I always don't know where to start and get frusterated from it. To me having it in my head allows for me to have ideas come to me out of no where, and not need a pen/paper around to write it down. It happened to me the other day somewhere, where an idea came to me for something, and I blurted out "That's what will happen!"

And my memory sucks, except when it comes to my writing.

Plus, this way, i know 100% that my story plan is secure and no one has seen it. It's one thing, i'm extremely secretive about my story plan. I refuse to tell anyone anything about it, beyond very general things, like what genre it is. I prefer everyone to be surprised when they read it, instead of talking about the storyline to my GF and not having her surprised with what happens next when I get around to typing it up.

It's my style and it works well for me :) Although that might change if my memory starts going ;)
 

Brian G Turner

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Elysium said:
What is this sleep that you speak of? who sleeps? :)
Heh, I did - before I had kids. :)

Not able to use the mnemonic system anymore, either. I guess it's a tiredness effect on memory.

I can and do still scribble notes, though - till receipts, back of bills - if I feel inspired.

Funnily enough, I've ntoiced that ideas tend to last, until they've been written down. I have a handful of things I need to write down, and they refuse to go away until they are. And then, you can almost be guaranteed, I shall forget them. :)
 

aftermath

Alex Cy'ane or Xir?
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Oct 2, 2003
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209
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Nova Scotia
if i have an idea, i write it down most of the time wht ever it closet to me. normally my arm or hand. once in a while i will remember my notebook, but i'll i do in it when i do is doodle:i find when your on the brink of passing out from lack of sleep is the bst time for ideas. or when you have a lot of caffine in your system. sometimes my friends who can't write stories, but anything else, will challenage me to write an idea they have. but my arms are almost permantly ink stained from all the write i put on them:p
 
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