…the heart sinking moment I thought I’d lost my project notebook, and what I learnt from it.
If you saw last weeks blog post, you’ll know that I was in London last weekend! And while I was there, a truly wonderful exciting thing happened!
My wonderful boyfriend, my rock, my greatest source of support…asked me to marry him, as we stood admiring the view and atmosphere of Tower Bridge, my favourite area of London!
It was a perfect weekend, but as we were packing up at the hotel I began to panic. I was certain I’d packed my main project notebook with me, but it wasn’t there. This notebook, a gift from my best friend and Sherlock themed (apt for murder mystery setting) has been my main project notebook since I began planning and writing my novel nearly two years ago. It contains my very first idea for the plot, my first attempt at the opening paragraphs, terrible sketches, my currently unanswered questions and plans for plot twists.
I adore this notebook. I use several others for this story, as my main character’s have their own ones too. I had one of those with me for the trip, and there in the hotel. But not my main one. My heart was pounding, I desperately tried to re-cap if I’d decided to unpack it before we left our home, because I knew I had packed it to begin with. Anyway, after a long, worried journey home I flew open our front door and straight into the office where, to my most intense relief, was my notebook! In the excitement of the weekend I’d been completely unable to re-call unpacking it before we left!
I was so pleased that I flicked through the whole note book. And here’s what I learnt and why you should pick up your notebooks and take a look back through your old and original notes;
- My story has developed…SO much!
When I saw my original opening chapter it amazed me how different it was to the chapter I’ve got now. The character’s are the same, but the setting has changed, one of the big reveals doesn’t happen until later now, the reactions have shifted. It’s so easy to feel like you’re at a stand still when you’re writing. Looking back made me realise how far I’ve come.
- I re-experienced the excitement of having the original idea
It warmed my heart to re-read my excited scribbles in the early stages of having the idea. You all know that feeling; the bubbly, hurried eagerness to tell a story that’s captured your imagination. It felt so good to re-discover that feeling and use it to keep pushing with my novel after all this time.
- I found old ideas that fit perfectly now
I found several scribbles of old ideas that I’d discarded in the early stages of the story and forgotten about…but they fit perfectly now! Don’t disregard ideas just because they don’t fit in where you thought they would…your story will surprise you!
- I fell in love with my characters all over again
When you’re stuck with the same story and same character’s for a long time and haven’t done an edit yet it’s easy to forget how far they’ve come. But reading my early drafts of their traits and back stories made me feel almost proud of them and how well they’ve developed!
- I realised exactly how much my story means to me
I love writing my story, that’s never been debatable. However, thinking I’d lost this notebook shattered me! I couldn’t stand the thought of losing what will be the biggest momentum to my time writing this book. It was really affirming to realise how much I cared.
I hope this gives you something to think about, and perhaps you too will look back over old notebooks? Leave a comment and let me know!
Until next week,
Don’t lose your notebooks