Thursday, June 24, 2010

Writing Ideas - Where do you keep yours and do you revisit them?

This morning on Twitter Author Marjorie M. Liu linked to a fantastic post she did called "Time Capsules of the Imagination" about her old writing journals and story ideas on her hard drive.

Besides just the lovely title, it's a post that struck a chord with me. You should head over and check it out here. Also be sure to read the blog post she references from Lynn Viehl on a lost story. Both are interesting posts that had me thinking (and dreaming about the day I can look back and just have 49 page manuscripts I've forgotten about!)

As I mentioned in the comments on Marjorie's blog, I keep a moleskin notebook (I love knowing Hemingway used the exact same one) that is always with me for when any story idea, character, plot twist, etc pops into my head. Every so often I find myself flipping through those pages and it does spark my creativity. It also makes me smile to know that my current WIP is not the end - just the beginning of a lifetime of stories I have in me.

How about you - where do you keep your story ideas? Do you have a writing journal or are you hi-tech and keep everything in files on your computer? How often do you read back over your ideas?


  1. You know, I usually just start writing. Unfinished WIPs are sort of my story files. Not very efficient, but I have the rest of my life to finish the best. In a new twist, I've just started The Artist's Way with a great group of folks and the morning pages have become a way of jotting down dreams which are often a source for stories. Perhaps one day I'll get organized. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. I wish I could say I have these all in one nice little place, safe and sound. But I can't. A couple years ago, stories flooded my brain while I was working on my first MS. I eventually put that one aside, as it wasn't working, and picked up one of the other ideas. I love that story and it has become my first completed MS.

    The next one is brewing as I revise this one and all the others are still waiting. Where are they waiting? In the back of my mind, which is absolutely crazy for a person who rarely remembers anything. But for some reason, these ideas have stuck. So far anyway. :)

  3. Hi Darla - I haven't heard of the Artist's Way. I'll have to check into that! Thanks for stopping by. :)

    Terri - I love that they are waiting in your mind. I think I have a few of those as well.

  4. I have two HUGE file folders with papers filled with notes, ideas, titles, etc. Some I know hold promise, others not so much. LOL. Then I have a notebook for more ideas. Then I have a program called OneNote. I purchased it in hopes of organizing my vast collection of ideas. So far, I haven't gotten very far with OneNote.


  5. I tend to start writing a basic premise for these ideas. And sometimes I printed them out and stuck them in a peechee. Found one last month from years and years ago! Was pretty exciting! About two-three pages of a summation, I suppose would be the idea.

    Nowadays, I keep a computer file with these pages in them.

    My very first completed MS walked out of the Artists Way and the practice of Morning Pages. Great book!

  6. Debra - I've heard some who love OneNote and others like you who can't really get into it. I write on a netbook that doesn't have Office, so unfortunately there are many programs that won't work with my system. That sucks because there are a few out there I've heard good things about.

    2nd Chance - Another lover of The Artists Way - now I really have to check this out!

    Thanks for stopping by!


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