Author's Blog

My Own Discbound Notebook

I recently learned about the discbound notebook system. I spent time putting the whole thing together and the biggest benefit I’ve seen about it so far is the fact that I’m excited about my story again. This is a story that’s been dogging me for the last 4 years. I’ve actually had characters growing, changing, disappearing and reappearing the whole time. Some would think that’s a bit nuts. Sometimes I think it’s a bit nuts too. The thing that makes me craziest is having the story tell me about itself, reveal bits to me over time, and me not writing it down as fast and as furiously as I possibly can.

I don’t know much about the system yet, and the system is something I build and re-build as the story evolves. As I capture it. I got the extra large 250-sheet rings because I’m an optimistic sort, as I mentioned before. I have paper for brainstorming, or mindmapping, so I can chase down the convolutions. This is a story over 3 primary characters and 2 generations. I’ll need a map to find my way out, or through. I have the requisite separators; notes, characters, timeline, research. I have the first 5 chapters in finalized form. And now I just need a new start.

My challenge now is that I do not know where I left off, other than chapter 5, or where the story was headed. I’ve discovered because of this last many months, and the many months that have separated all the previous attempts at getting the beast down on paper, that I am definitely not a pantser. I’m not the type who can just sit down and organically birth a story, a la Stephen King. What I need instead is a very clear plan. I’m hoping the discbound notebook is that plan, that map.

For the last several days since I put together the initial notebook, I’ve been mentally pulling together my characters, the locations and scenes in the story and then also thinking about those places as characters because in some respect, they are as bit a part of the story as the breathing pieces. Especially Pauline’s Cafe. I’ve been building my notebook in my mind to include not just the characters but also trying to tie in how the scenes are going to build to the end I’ve seen in my head for some time. Except now, going back over some of the pieces of this story I’ve written over the last several years, starting and then stopping, I’m finding that the original end I thought I knew was inevitable doesn’t seem to fit anymore. I find myself in a pretty scary place in that I no longer know what happens. I need to do a lot of work writing out the scenes, outlining them onto cards in Storyist so I can move them about until they do fit, if they fit together anymore at all.

So much work to do, good work. Such opportunity to get it right. I believe it’s a good story. A great story, really. It is my great hope that I am able to make this work and tell the story well.

Categories: Short story

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