Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Job Number Three

At the SCBWI conference last month in New York, fantasy writer Susan Cooper said, "Job number one is to keep a notebook. Job number two is to refer to it often." When she said that, I thought, "Hm, I've got jobs number one and two covered. Does that mean job number three is writing?"

I think it is. For me, anyway. Pictured above are my beloved notebooks. If you care, they're Clairefontaine hardcover journals from France, lined, 196 pages, and I write in them from both ends. Notes for one project at the beginning, and another at the end; or maybe a glossary of fabulous words at the end, or jottings from my collection of folklore & supernatural books:

I don't "write" in my notebooks. That is, I don't sit down and print "Chapter One" and go at it. No no no, that's for crazy people, that writing stories longhand in notebooks. And I'm no crazy person. I'm perfectly rational in my method of having two documents open on my laptop, storytelling as well and as freely as I can in my "notes" document, where I do not have to cringe in terror of the expectations that come with typing beneath the words "Chapter One." And then, when the scene is all dusted off and spiffy and ready to be presented to society, it gets cut and pasted into the real document. Like I said, I'm not crazy. Sheesh.

But back to the notebooks. I love these notebooks. Love them. They're brimming with several years worth or weird facts, strange folk beliefs, awesome ideas (if I don't say so myself) and lists of names, cool words, kinds of trees in particular jungles, and like that. The world of Dreamdark is in these books. I'm really really keen on "job number one."

Right now I happen to be really really keen on "job number three," too and expect to be doing very little else for the forseeable future. So I guess what I'm saying is: expect boringness from me. The more interesting life in Dreamdark becomes, the proportionately less interesting Laini's life. Unless you consider sitting on a lime green bench, at a lime green desk, wiggling my fingers for hours and hours, well, interesting. I do. I'll try to keep my head in the "real world" enough to have something to write about besides my delirium over my daily word counts. Ha! We shall see.

I'm off to Dreamdark now, to harass an imp.


Anonymous said...

keep at it , my friend! I can feel the world beginning to sparkle a little bit more with every word you type!


megg (blogger won't let me in!!)

Kristy said...

So, tell me, Laini...

If you have several years worth of thoughts, discoveries, tid-bits and notions in those notebooks...how in the heck do you *find* anything?! Seriously...are they "indexed"? How can you pull out that perfect tid-bit to insert into your story, if, well...if you've forgotten it somewhere within those notebooks?

Anonymous said...

*big grin* These do look like fabulous notebooks...and congratulations on the ongoing writing!!!!

p.s. I don't think that it is remotely possible that you could EVER be boring!!!!! :-)

Jone said...

Bring some of the notebooks. Kids love to see that author keep notebooks. Great post, Laini.

Amber said...

Get to it! Good luck, girly. Go go go! I will miss you while you are "away".


Claudia said...

That IS interesting so keep those posts coming! I love your notebooks.

HoBess said...

Claudia is right ... I love reading how you make things happen. It seems I'm so unorganized that, when inspiration comes, it just whirls like a hawk-a-hunting but never am I able to zoom in and capture the prey. Glad you find a few breaks to keep us posted!

Left-handed Trees... said...

Harassing an imp sounds pretty wonderful, actually, and I do hope you'll peek out of your writing room every now and then to let us all know what you're up to. That's what I've been doing today and my eyes hurt from the sunlight, seriously!
Love to you,

Tinker said...

I can think of few things more interesting than your dream life! Enjoy!
(Oh, and I loved the peek into your bookcase - now I think I may know why I've been collecting up all my odd books these years - I've been building a reference library!)

Patry Francis said...

Blogger won't let me in either, but at least it lets me on your blog. It's been avidly keeping me out of most!

Anyway, I wanted to say that every time you mention SCBWI, you say something amazing! I want to go--and of course, I want those French notebooks, too.

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

May I please, please, please borrow some of your perfectionism? I could use it.