The Moleskine

I’ve made many an attempt at writing a novel using the infamous “make it up as you go a long” approach. Which I think is fine if you’re doing it for your own entertainment but if you want to actually last more than a few chapters and not be random pish then there’s no other option that to bite the bullet and plan. And properly! Of course I’ve done as well, few scribble on the back of an opened out envelope. Nope – that doesn’t work either. The problem there is that I wasn’t making a commitment at the start, no story doodled on some scrap paper is ever going to great. That’s why this time I went for the Moleskine approach. Now you’ll either have no idea what I’m talking about here or will already be way ahead of me. If you’re not familiar with Moleskines go do a quick Google for ‘moleskine notebook’, it’s okay I’ll wait. That you back? Righto.

Having made a financial outlay you’ve already made a proper commitment

So Moleskine’s are basically high quality, high price notepads. Even though they’re a joy to write on, that price tag for what is essentially a pile of paper bites at my inner frugality. And that’s exactly why they’re a great place to plan your novel – having made a financial outlay you’ve already made a proper commitment. If you don’t follow up then the money’s been wasted. There’s also this whole idealogy behind the Moleskine brand – that’s it for great ideas and storing important pieces of information, this piece of fictious advertising that Leonardo Da Vinci used to use one. You owe it to your Moleskine to fill it with greatness. No doodles here, no half assed ideas. It’s little faux leather hand is now on your back, pushing you forwards. Character notes, location descriptions, timelines – these should all soon follow. Personally I find myself feeling so precious about not squandering my Moleskine that draft all my notes before commiting them to it – adding an extra level or evolution and formation to the ideas.

The Moleskine effect can be a double edged blade though. All that pressure to only put wonderful words on those pages can result in nothing getting written down at all for fear for ruining your Moleskine.  There are two good ways of avoiding this scenario – either go through a number each page in the corner which doubles up as a handy reference or write something on the front page – either your name or if you’ve already got it, the name of the novel.  There you go, ink has been spilled – let battle commence.

I also like to keep ideas seperate between Moleskines – again a novel started in a notebook half-filled with another isn’t off to a good start.  Keep em seperate and ideally keep an extra one for jotting down general ideas in.

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Published in: on April 13, 2010 at 6:49 PM  Leave a Comment  
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