Seventh Notebook

A dark green notebook with the Google logo.

This small notebook was a present from a friend who lives in Ireland.

As mentioned in my previous notebook post, it contains some drafts for my blog in Spanish. Since I had already posted those, transcribing the notebook didn’t take as long as it could have. I was aiming to finish by the end of June, but you can see I’ve finished much earlier.

In this notebook there were some unexpected snippets. For instance, I had no memory of writing an outline for a gay retelling of Pride & Prejudice. And I’m always doubting and second-guessing myself, but for the first time I’ve felt 100% sure about something: I don’t think it’s worth writing. The main conflict was Darcy not accepting his sexuality, and… nope, I don’t want to do that. But because one may be able to use parts and pieces of unusable writing for something else in the future, I’ve transcribed all of it.

I had also written down a couple of dreams I’d forgotten all about. It was interesting, because they came back to my mind as I was transcribing what I’d written down so long ago. Reminded me of a dream diary I used to keep when I was a teenage.

I also had some notes about my trip to England… which was ages ago, now I realize.

In any case, I had lots of scenes for stories I’ve already mentioned, and these three new stories that I’m not going to start with. I’m looking forward to the next notebook, which I used during 2017, because it must have some new ideas.

Sixth Notebook

Small notebook with an embellished cover that depicts the illustrated letter "The Song of Songs which is Solomon's" by Rudyard Kipling.

One of my small paperblanks from the embellished manuscripts collection. Among its pages I found maps, dead flowers, and lots of ideas for my long fantasy story (including some notes about linguistics).

A friend of mine helped me choose this notebook so I would want to focus more on my Thesis (Rudyard Kipling was mentioned in it). Judging by the amount of academic work I’ve found in this notebook… it only worked towards the end (but it did work!). Of course, given that I’m now writing for myself only, I can say that it’s a good thing I spent so much time plotting stories instead.

This is the third of my four 2016 notebooks, and I only discovered it came before the last one because here I chose the name of my blog in Spanish, while the next one had some blog posts already.

2016 must have been a fruitful year creativity-wise. This notebook is full of short snippets for a variety of projects I don’t even remember now. I’ve been trying to make sense of everything, but it’s impossible to know at this point whether I’m doing it the way I intended. Maybe it’s for the best, because now I can see errors and tropes I couldn’t have noticed at the time.

Fifth Notebook

 

I’m back with a new (old) transcribed notebook.

This was another of the bigger ones, so it took me much longer. Fortunately, there was stuff about a fanfic, book reviews and my thesis that I had already transcribed a year ago, so those saved me some time.

There was a lot of information about the new main characters of the fantasy story, and even an old first chapter written from a secondary character’s point of view. I was surprised to find that one at the beginning of the notebook, but apparently this is a very old notebook I bought in 2012 and recovered in 2016, so that must have been something I wrote back in 2012. It was only a few pages long, probably because I lost my confidence.

There were also notes for a trip I was planning with a friend. I wrote down the places in Japan I’d like to visit. I realized I still haven’t been to Tottori, Ise, Mount Fuji or Shirakawa. Maybe one day…

I also found more information about the stories located in Madrid, and this was when I started writing about the other fantasy story, the one with an MC trapped in someone else’s body. So that’s yet another one of the stories I mentioned in this post.

You know, I started writing that one because of a song I like. The lyrics made me think it must be based on some fantasy book, and when I couldn’t find the source, my partner told me I could write one myself. What started to be a sort of fanfic based on a song (weren’t those popular 15 years ago?) turned into something bigger that now has nothing to do with said song.

That’s how inspiration works, right?

 

Fourth notebook

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After the last notebook of 2015, I had a bit of trouble choosing which notebook to transcribe next. I found myself with 4 notebooks I’d filled in 2016… but I didn’t know the order. I already said I’m rather chaotic, but I didn’t want to make things worse by starting with the wrong one. In the end, I realized I had two notebooks I must have used at the same time… more or less.

One was big, so I must have used it at home, and the other one was small, so I must have taken it everywhere. I probably finished the smaller one before, at least, so I decided to start with it.

You may have noticed this notebook and the previous one have the same format, but I already said they’re my favourite ones, so you should just know that I bought this one after reading “A Seditious Affair” by KJ Charles. I couldn’t not buy a notebook inspired by William Blake’s poems after reading that wonderful book.

This notebook had many snippets that never became a story and a lot of information for a fanfic I never wrote. Other than that, I continued working on rewriting my old fantasy story, now with new main characters. I also started to collect names for all the characters and places. And there’s even a story a cab driver told me, about one of his ancestors who’d been a bandit in Southern Spain.

Spoiler alert: I was surprised to find out that it was in January 2016 when I decided that two of the characters in the fantasy romance would know each other, but only one of them would remember having met before. I thought that had been much later and now I wonder where that came from. Anyway, that made a lot of sense and it became an important plot point.

Third Notebook

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Another notebook that’s now part of the digital world! This one I bought after my trip to Switzerland, where I’d visited an art exhibition and seen Monet’s Water Lilies. As you can see, the cover of the notebook mixes one of Monet’s manuscripts with a background based on the Water Lilies, while the magnetic clasp displays Monet’s signature.

The small notebooks by paperblanks are my favourite because they’re beautiful, solid, and the most durable I’ve found so far. They’re not heavy, either. I prefer the ones from the Embellished Manuscripts collection, like this one. Not only because I love seeing manuscripts of artists I like, but also because the magnetic clasp is very useful, saving the pages from (very) possible encounters with spilled liquids and sharp objects found inside a bag.

Anyway, there were lots of ideas for different stories in this one, including a few ones set in the city where I was born: Madrid. I think I have mentioned them in my previous post.

The fantasy story I was rewriting also appears in several pages, and it looks like I changed the names of the main characters along the way. I didn’t even remember they had placeholder names before!

I also wrote down some weird dreams I’d had and more tips for amateur writers I found around the internet. Maybe I could share some links in the future if anyone is interested.

By the way, this is the last notebook I filled in 2015. I wonder what I’ll find in my next notebook…

Second Notebook

notebook002

 

Another notebook that I can finally put away! I bought this one before leaving on a trip to Switzerland in 2015. It’s bigger than the previous one because I  was expecting to spend a lot of time travelling by train and writing.

And I did write a lot during that trip, so it was a good choice, but it took me a while to finish it because it was too big to carry around. Once I went back from my holidays, I only used it at home because my bad shoulder doesn’t allow me to carry too many things.

Anyway, its contents are now part of my Scrivener projects, and I have to admit it was an interesting process. At some point during that trip to Switzerland, I must have decided to change the main characters of the story I was rewriting (again, and hopefully for the last time). I thought it had happened much later and I was expecting to find a ton of obsolete information, but it wasn’t so. Most of what I’ve found in this notebook is still usable, and I was pleasantly surprised.

It took me a lot of time to type all of it, but most of my notebooks are much smaller, so I hope the process will be faster from now on.

First notebook!

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This is the first notebook I filled with my own writings. The notebook was a present from a friend who lives mainly in Singapore, and it made me want to rewrite a story I’d started writing years ago.

I started rewriting in 2014, so it has rained a few times since then. I’ve also found lots of notes for other stories inside, including several fanfics, and even tips for wannabe writers.

At one point, I started using different colours each time I sat down to write. That way, it’s easier to recognize when another story (or another part of the same story) begins, so I’ve been doing the same ever since. I use pretty colours like purple, teal or crimson because I think they help with creativity. Or, at least, I do get bored when everything looks the same. And my handwriting is terrible, so let me have something that makes reading it acceptable.

I already have this notebook in my (several) Scrivener projects, but this was the notebook that started everything, so I wanted to post a… memorial, I guess.

Thank you for everything, little notebook!

Do I have a writing process?

My gut reaction would be to say “No”.

If I think about it a bit, I’d reply “Yes, trying to make sense out of Chaos”.

And that’s true, but after years of reading, introspection, trial and error… I’ve realized I prefer writing on paper. Thus, I have several small notebooks, and I always carry one with me wherever I go. Whenever I start writing something, I make a note of the story/idea it belongs to. Each notebook has parts and pieces of various stories, and my mind doesn’t quite grasp the meaning of time and chronological order, so I have to make sense of that mess eventually.

This happens when I type everything I’ve written. I use Scrivener for that, and it’s very useful to be able to jump from folder to folder within the same project, but I can’t use it as my sole tool because I keep revising the text every time I open the project instead of writing anything new.

So I’ve decided to stick to my notebooks. But first I have to type everything I’ve done until now because the queue is turning overwhelming. I’ll let you know each time I finish with one, as a kind of reward.

 

Notebooks
My notebooks