Recently on Twitter I saw the comedian Doc Brown answer a question about about how he writes jokes: http://twitter.com/docbrown88/status/380385305351966720
...and it got me thinking about how one organises thoughts and ideas, and fleshes them out into something... well, finished. "Shipped", as they say in the technology world. Anyone who's ever written or made anything knows having an idea is a fraction of the work involved.
Then about the same time I saw this lovely blog post, on writers' notebooks. There's lots of notebook porn, from writers such as David Almond, Joe Craig (hi Joe!) and even Dylan Thomas.
I'm totally guilty of it too, but there's a smugness to writing notes, just as when you add a bookmark or tag a post. If I were feeling particularly dickish i would call it hubris. Because I never go back.
I carry a notebook with me at all times, and write ideas in my increasingly crabbed handwriting (is that a thing that happens with age? Sometimes I wonder if I'm deliberately thwarting Future Kat with my illegible scrawl.) The picture above is of my notebooks.
(Yes, that's a Michael Jackson card. And *yes*, those are minidiscs.)
I like to say I use Moleskins, the kind you get three of in a packet - brown for notes, black for full drafts - but really I end up using anything that's to hand: the pretty hardback notebooks I'm given at Christmas, the cheap reporters' notebooks I but from the local stationers, the little piece of shit ones you get free with magazines, or the only bit of paper to hand. Sometimes I forget my pen and have to write notes as text messages in my phone.
I try to go through them from time to time, picking up the notes that relate to what I'm working on at the moment, slipping them in to the relevant Scrivener file, or puzzling on how and if I should include them (sometimes they are ideas that should stay in my head only - backstory - they don't need explaining).
But mostly I flick through them and wonder what might have come of all of those ideas. Some of them aren't too bad (though some of them really stink up the place).
So I'd really like to know how people organise and develop their thoughts. Notes are one thing. But how do you make sure they become something you can ship?