Best Practices: Going Analog to Get The Story

I absolutely love my Moleskines. I have three: My “home” journal that keeps all of my various notes and things regarding running life as a family of four. My “project” journal, which contains most of my major projects (including my blog organization and sometimes story outlining). I recently discovered a larger 8×10 Moleskine of mine that had been buried in a box and it is perfect for just dedicating to story writing. Super portable, it fits in my diaper bag and my purse, so now I can take it with me when I’m walking around with the boys. They play, I write. It’s perfect!

I’m currently writing a prequel for Before Her Time, and I’m having a hard time not being distracted by technology. The main character, Tori, is a fictional duchess, and I want to make sure that I get enough details regarding English peerage right so as to not take readers out of the story. Her nobility isn’t central to the story, but people will make enough assumptions that they’ll have certain expectations about behavior, language, location and so forth. Well, I don’t live in England and I’m not schooled on nobility (I actually find it distasteful), so I have to go looking for just the right detail to make it work.

Being lost in Wiki/Google doing research cane sometimes be exhausted. While I’m certainly learning, I’m not writing, and writing is the goal.

So I’ve turned to my trusty story Moleskine to help, even when I’m at home. No research, no google, no wondering…just writing. It is very satisfying to see a few pages full of my chicken scratch in this notebook. I also like having an analog record of my thoughts and inspirations.

I am by no means abandoning my computer. Writing digitally has its own satisfaction, but going old-school has a lot of perks. My Moleskine doesn’t crash….though it can get lost, or blend in with all of the other notebooks in the universe. I love the color Black, I really do, but I wish that had different and more rad colors! I also have a thing about ink stains on my fingers. I know, that’s silly.

I have 2,000 words more of this story to write. Then I have to perform a preliminary edit before I can think about submitting it for critique. I have two little boys that really need to get out and run around this week, though it’s hot at balls outside. This is the life of a woman trying to do it all.

What do you do to “get the story”? What are your favorite tools of the trade?

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