Saturday, November 14, 2009

The right tools for the job

Dork time.

I took a big step today. After much deliberation, I decided on and purchased the notebook and pens I'll use to draft the next book. 6 weeks in advance, but I couldn't wait. It's one of the few parts of the process that feels good.

The decision is a little more complicated this time because the supplies have to come with me on a plane trip where I am already pushing the weight limits for luggage. This much notebook paper means two fewer novels I can bring with me to read. They have paper where I'm going of course, but I want to have just the perfect thing, and I can't be sure they have that.

Actually I will have to find something else when I get there. The notebook is 3-subject, 200 pp., college ruled, and I required about twice that much paper on the first draft of my other novel. But I'll have a couple months of writing before I have to cross that bridge.

The spiral is heavy duty so I can flip it open and write on the backs of sheets comfortably, and the cover is heavy duty for long wear. The spiral has a nylon cover sewn over it for less mess, and there's a little loop sewn in to hold my pen! A few pockets are in the dividers, though I don't really clutter those up with loose sheets so much, so a few is just right.

When it comes to pens, I've figured out that I prefer fine/.7mm over xfine/.5mm. I've thoughtlessly bought the wrong size a few times. (They always seem to be the ones on sale.) So I've got a package of Uniball fine points that ought to last I don't know how long. They were too expensive to buy back-up packages. The notebook was too expensive, too. But you have to have the right tools for the job.

End dork time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

First words, second novel

In the last couple months, I've been doing a lot of thinking about and note taking for my next book, and today I put down a few words for the first time. Oh, that felt good.

For the most part, I refrain from writing (a strategy I've written about before -- basically, I'm saving the mojo until the time is right) though the urge is strong. I do various kinds of prep work instead. Brainstorming exercises, research, character notes. Hopefully I'll get to the point where I can outline it some before I start.

Doing some research today, there were a few details I wanted to capture, but I wanted to get them in context to show how I'll use those kinds of details. So I indulged by letting myself slip into the voice of the character giving these details -- which are part of the backstory -- in narrative. It's a hell of a lot more fun than rewriting. Or searching for agents for my first book.

I'm doing all this prep work in anticipating of starting to draft the book shortly after the start of the new year. I'll have a big change in my schedule and environment then which I think will allow regular intense focus on writing a new book.

Probably not a lot of posting here until then -- all the work is pretty mundane -- but the few minutes of writing I did today seemed noteworthy.