Ideas, Ideas, Ideas -- Can You Ever Have Too Many?
I've been on a writing sprint trying to meet a deadline for a sweet romance box set due in December. I'm almost finished and wrapping up the final few thousand words which I hope to knock out today.
What've I've found is that while the creative juices are flowing, ideas for a few other books are coming into my head from out of no where. Also, ideas for other areas of the book that I'm not working on at the moment are flowing in as well. When I get a good flow going in one part of the story, I don't want to stop to write the other part and lose my mojo. When I'm taking walks or taking a break or even in the middle of my current story, the ideas flood through. And good ideas, too.
And I've learned this week that every idea has it's place even if it's not in the moment you thought it up. I had a dream three years and wrote down the notes in a notebook. I'm finally going to use the idea later this year or early next year in a romance that will be written as a sequel to this sweet romance. How would I know that idea would be useful three years from then?
You never know. So the lesson here is TRACK YOUR IDEAS. You may not use it at the moment you think of it, but you will probably use it or some concept of it in the future.
In the past I might have trusted myself to remember them, but I've been in the business long enough to know better. I can't even remember what my name is most days. So I have tons of tools handy. It struck me as hilarious this week when I thought about the ways I was capturing notes for future projects. All of my tools have really come in handy. Maybe they will help you.
- Scrivener Project Notes -- So, I'm writing my romance in Scrivener and they have a feature called Project Notes that allows you to access your notes no matter where you are in a project. Every time an idea related to other areas of the story come to me, I just jot them there and I can access them when I get to that chapter. In Word, I just open a blank document and save the notes on my desktop--but then I run the risk of moving them or forgetting about them. So I try to write in Scrivener.
- Scrivener Project -- If it's an idea for a new book that I'm pretty sure I'm going to write, then I open up a new Scrivener project and write the concept for the book in Project Notes. When additional ideas come, I can store them all with the project, eventually starting the story board and including the notes there. I've done this five times since starting this romance novel. The ideas are just flowing.
- (Moleskine) notebooks - Sometimes ideas come to me when I've shut the lid on the Mac. That's when I'll have a notebook handy to jot down my notes. The only problem with that is I'll leave it upstairs when I'm working downstairs and vice versa. I love Moleskine because the paper is wonderful to write on with my Gel 2 pens. No, it's not parchment and Mont Blanc but it sure makes you feel like you're writing on something special.
- iPhone Voice Memos -- Sometimes, I don't have a pen handy so I'll use my iPhone voice memos to speak the notes and then transcribe them later. For times when I have very lengthy notes I have the next tool.
- The Olympus Note Corder DP-201 -- This is one of my favorite tools for writing and tracking my notes. If you set it up properly it puts a date and time stamp on your notes so that you pull it up by the day. I don't know about you, but that's how I recall specific ideas. "I thought of it when I was up at 3 am about two weeks ago." This tool allows you to take notes and not suck up space on your phone. It is even better when you're sitting in classes (writing classes) taking notes because it's a high capacity and it's got noise cancellation and a mic sensor. So, you really get much more crisp recordings without all the background noise.
That's all I have for now. The key is to take notes and keep them. You never know when you can use one of your past brilliant ideas.
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