Inside My Writing Toolbox: The Notebooks

I thought I’d take a moment to show off my old-school system for brainstorming ideas, working out vexing issues, and generally keeping the myriad details of my literary universe straight as I bang out title after title. Behold, my cheap spiral notebooks! (Ooh, ahh.)

I use one per title. $1 notebooks are great because there’s just enough paper to bash away at that one title with a bit left over to tie it to the next one. Thus, I write out things like:

  • Character lists
  • Plot points
  • Key details
  • “OOOH” moments

Notebook page

That’s a super-secret “OOOH!” moment from just over halfway through Dead Shot: A Diane Pembrook Thriller (coming soon!). I like writing out bullet points, even though my handwriting is atrocious, and then seeing connections form as I work through what has happened in the story (pivotal scenes) and how they tie in to the planned end point of the book, or some new reveal about the character, or how it fits in with Crossed Out (available now!).

Yes, I’m aware that there’s software for that, but I like the tactile feeling of writing things out the hard way, and toting them back and forth to work every day to pick at during lunch and breaks.

Speaking of, back to writing!

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