I have a novella that I’m working on that’s due 2/18 and I need to put it together fast and well so I can write the book. I’ve had some questions about how I’m using the bujo for writing – and as any good teacher will tell you, sometimes showing other people how to do something helps YOU figure out how to do it better.
So it’s the perfect time for me to capture some of what I’m doing since this is an entirely new world. This will be a series of posts as I have time. Hopefully it’ll be helpful for someone!
In the Beginning
My theme is something Irish or related to St. Patrick’s Day. The name of the boxed set/anthology we’re doing is “Shamrocked.” I already know I want to do a RH so I need at least 3 heroes. I need a story that I can introduce all the characters and the world quickly without a lot of set up – because I only have 30-40K to get the story told. And if I’m going to go to all the trouble of setting up a new world, then I want to be able to write MORE books in this world. So this story needs to be 1). satisfying in a shorter medium but also 2). extendable.
I did some brainstorming and got my premise. I don’t think I’ll go into a lot of that at this point – I’ll keep this generic and high level. As I’m doing my research and brainstorming, I put the pages into my existing bujo. This notebook has a bunch of other ideas, plus my revision notes for Queen Takes Queen. I keep track of everything with an index at the beginning, just as you would for any other bujo.
The first few pages are just messy notes. Brainstorming. Interesting tidbits that may or may not have anything to do with the story. But eventually I get a better idea of what I want this story to be, and I make a list of what I know or my goals for the book.
Casting. Part of my process is to pretend I’m an uber-rich director and I can hire any actor or actress I want to play my characters. I find a pic I like and print it out. Then I create a two-page “spread” in the bujo. Really all this entails is the pic (attached with tape or washi), and the information I know about the character. It may be very sparse. It may change. That’s okay. I just need something to start with. I usually have the left-hand page with the high-level stuff like name and age, and then I leave the right-hand page for notes and backstory as they come to me. Note: do a spread for your antagonist if you have one.
Places or World. I do the same thing for places, houses, anything unique that I’m using in the setting.
Leave plenty of white space to make notes or add research details.
Helpful hint: If you have multiple stories in the notebook, use washi tape to make a little tab in a color that’s meaningful to your story. That way you can flip directly to those pages!