The Writer’s Journal/Notebook…
I am often asked what advice I would give to aspiring writers and my answer does not vary much…you have to read, read, and read some more and simultaneously you have to write, write, and never stop writing. Keeping a writer’s journal is essential to help you gather as many tidbits of information that will help you with your writing later on and will keep your writing fresh and interesting.
You have to write about everything, anything and then some. That is how you become a good writer…by writing…and when you are ready for the story, the book, the novel, the idea, then a writer’s notebook comes in handy…
The writer’s journal is where you jot down ideas, collect names, collect quotes, and other tidbits of information that may or may not make it into your stories, novels, poems, or shorts. This is where you mine the gold mine that is your life to help prepare you for what it is you want to write. This is where you start preparing the fertile ground for your creativity…and you never know what will make it in and what won’t. This is not where you filter your work or your words…anything is good, everything and anything goes. This is to have fun, with quips and quotes and anything notes.
The Writer’s Notebook, on the other hand, is much more specific. This is where you are laying the groundwork for your story…this is where you have scenes, characters, plot lines, and ideas. Science Fiction and Fantasy writers keep the most elaborate notebooks, since they are creating virtual worlds and they have to keep them straight. Some fantasy writers even create a language that is specific to their world and their characters may visit other worlds in order to be ready for what is coming next.
Many writers use different strategies for organizing their stories and keeping them straight but they all have some way of getting to know their characters and of understanding what the characters are all about. They have some way of detailing, fact checking, and ensuring that there is a logical fit for the reader, especially if there are multiple books in a series.
JK Rowling was a master at keeping detailed information straight and she even got some of her facts wrong, especially with dates and ages, as do many writers. So, as an aspiring writer you have to write…in all sorts of genres and you have to find a process of organizing the story that keeps it straight and keeps it real in your mind. For example, the most effective writers know more about their characters than their readers do, because in developing the back story, they had to know so much more than they shared with the reader…alas, our gay wizard…
Con un pan y cafecito,
"Preguntando se llega a Roma."
Asking will get you to Rome.