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Writing tip: Keep track of your ideas

Posted by Maria Murnane | August 31, 2015

The other day, I received a notification that I had a new subscriber to my monthly newsletter. As I always do, I e-mailed her to ask why she’d signed up. She replied that while she hasn’t yet written anything, she has a lot of stories she wants to share when she retires from her job as a police detective, so she thought she could learn from me.

Isn’t that COOL? (Not the learning from me part, the police detective part!)

Just think of all the interesting material this woman could draw from when she finally has time to sit down and focus. My advice to her now? Keep track of her ideas.

Jot down good ideas so you won't forget them!

I don’t write crime books, but my novels do include many things that I’ve experienced in real life. In fact, I get lots of e-mails from readers telling me they enjoy the realism in my stories. To help keep that going, when I come across something I might want to include in a book, I do my best to make note of it immediately.

Here’s an example: At one of my soccer games, a teammate admitted that he needs to get in better shape. He said he does a lot of “supported squats” at work, but that strategy clearly isn’t working. I laughed out loud and immediately sent myself a text message to add his joke to my “TO USE IN A BOOK” document. (Btw that book came out earlier this year. Here’s the first chapter if you’d like to have a peek!)

If you can still recall the name of your elementary school vice principal, more power to you. If you’re like those of us with a less-than-stellar memory, I suggest keeping track of your ideas. Whether it’s for an entire book, a scene within a book, or just a funny comment like the one my friend made, make a note of it. You may never use it, but then again, maybe you will.

-Maria

 

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2015 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

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