Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Note Cards--the Perfect Writing Tool

blog7 Writing is one of the least-expensive activities on earth; you don't need a lot of sophisticated equipment to do it. Don't, however, underestimate your need for some tools to successfully capture your ideas on paper.

Remember Samuel Coleridge's masterpiece "Kubla Khan"? Actually, the entire title is "Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment". Coleridge stated that he'd written the poem while waking from an opium-enriched dream. A visitor came unexpectedly to his door, shattering his dream and the images he was hurrying to commit to paper.

The moral of the story? Jot down your ideas immediately. Don't trust your memory. After all, most of us have many different things going on in our lives as distractions---work, children, friends, ringing cell phones, crowded email in-boxes. If you hear of or think up a great character name, write it down. Come up with a fantastic scrap of dialogue? You won't remember it later, try as you might to summon it up--jot it down. Keep paper on your bedside table, in your car, in your pocket or purse, and around your house. Note cards are the perfect size for a hastily-scribbled idea, bit of dialogue, plot point, interesting adjective or metaphor.

Conveniently, you can even paperclip or staple the note cards onto your manuscript at the points you want to write them in.

"Kubla Khan" would have been even more of a gift to the English language if Coleridge had sketched out his poem's outline immediately. Or neglected to answer his door.