Thursday, July 26, 2007

Getting Organized

I'm always look ing for an easier way to do things. Lately I've been researching new technologies or systems of organizing my notes and thoughts. One new technique of researching and note taking and writing--well, at least it is new to me involves notecards. I bought 100 index cards and a plastic box with a snap on it. You can get them at Wal-Mart or Walgreens or any of the office stores. It fits in my purse well, and already I have several of the cards filled.

My original plan was to have something handy to jot down bibliographic information from books as I read and digested information, and make my notes accordingly while I was at the library/bookstore/etc. without having to take the hard copy with me. Many times I find reading material in doctor's offices or restaurants that I cannot take with me but would like to reference later. The cards serve as a mini-reference, so I can go back at a later point in time and remember where I read such and so forth.

An added benefit of having the cards is that I have them with me at all times. It is much easier to sit and plot a small scene on an index card than lug a huge notebook or the laptop around. And the small size of the card takes the pressure off of writing a huge amount all at once. It's easy to fill one card. Maybe Two. And before you know it, you have filled several. The beauty is that you're able to move scenes around easily, just like when you did your notecards for your term papers back in college. Remember those?

As a result, I have a couple of scenes sketched out for a project. I'm thinking it will be a children's novel, but it could turn out to be only a short story. Too early to tell. But as you know, I never throw material away. I might chunk several rewrites or pages that have gotten stale, but the original idea or material I keep. You never know when you might be able to rewrite it and use it elsewhere. It might not work with a current project, but perhaps it was not meant for that project. If God gives it to me...then there is a plan somewhere, to be sure.

I have also been looking at the Neo by Alphasmart. It is a streamlined, rugged, small word processor that can run up to 700 hours on 3 AA batteries. If anyone has used one and has a review of it or can offer any insight, I would like to hear about it.

My hubby, CWG, Jr. has been listening to an online sermon by Mike Murdock entitled, "The 10 Technologies That Greatly Affected My Ministries." I know, it does not sound like a sermon, but trust me it will affect your productivity and you might learn a few tricks that will help you whatever your ministry might be. I think it would be worth your time to visit the link and glean from this minister's experience.

But whatever method you choose to organize your thoughts, scenes, plots, characters, etc., the important thing is to get them down before they are lost. If you're getting old like me, sometimes you can have that million-dollar idea and lose it with a 2-second distraction. Drop me a comment on what works best for you. I'm always open to new ideas.


Dawn said...

I have so much admiration for fiction writers - I LOVE reading good fiction and cannot even fathom being able to write it. Diane said you'd completed a novel? Congratulations!

Sista Cala said...

I know nothing about the Neo, but I do know index cards. They have been the standard for lectionaries* since before they became the 3x5 w/lines on them. The plastic box is a good idea, especially for in your purse w/all the stuff that could get on your cards.
*Did I use that word right? I have no idea how it even got into my southern drawl. lol.

C. H. Green said...

lec·tion·ar·y (lĕk'shə-nĕr'ē)
n., pl. -ies.
A book or list of lections to be read at church services during the year.

[Medieval Latin lēctiōnārium, from Latin lēctiō, lēctiōn-, a reading. See lesson.]


Home > Library > Reference > Wikipedia Lectionary
A Lectionary is a book or listing that contains a collection of scripture readings for Christian worship.

The ancient Hebrews/Jews created pre-assigned lectionary-like scripture reading schedules for the Old Testament Torah, even before Jesus’ time. Jesus likely read from one of these pre-assigned readings when he read from Isaiah 61:1-2, as recorded in Luke 4:16-21, when he claimed his Divinity in public. Both Hebrew and Christian lectionaries hop and skip through the Torah/Bible and include verses which are generally favored by the bureaucracy of the religious community that designed each individual lectionary over the centuries. Pre-assigned/scheduled scripture readings are traceable back to parts of the early church during the first few centuries after Jesus’ earthly ministry. Not all of the Christian Church used lectionaries, but some parts did, including those that ultimately formed the Roman Catholic Church. The roots and history of the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) and the Roman Catholic Lectionary originated in the Roman Catholic Church, where it generally goes by the Latin name Ordo Lectionum Missae.

Throughout history, many varying lectionaries have been used in different parts of the Christian world. Until the Second Vatican Council, most Western Christians (Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Methodists who employed the Lectionary of Wesley) used a lectionary that repeated on a one year basis. This lectionary provided readings for Sundays and, in those Churches
I'm trying to figure that out too. According to this definition, they are used in church services. Maybe you ran across it in your time at Bible College? You used a word I'm not even familiar with. So I guess we both learned something, huh.

C. H. Green said...

Also found this: Different spelling..."Lextionary is a dictionary and thesaurus of the English language with features and information that are far superior to a normal dictionary. Instead of just having words organized alphabetically, Lextionary also organizes words by their semantic meaning. A normal dictionary only gives the definition of a word, but Lextionary starts with a definition and gives a multitude of links to others words. These links help define and place in context the word you are interested in and allow you to explore the word’s relationship to other words

Diane said...

Oh I know these notecards well....when I began my college journey a few years back, one of the first classes I took was a 'Writing for College Papers' course. The professor highly encouraged this we were required to write a 10 page, APA documented, persuasive research paper for the class. Let me just say, from first hand experience, how much these cards helped in the organization of such a paper. I can only imagine they would be as valued for a writer. I'm gonna have to start carrying them in my already-too-big-purse!!!!

Isn't it a good feeling to be organized! And so easy. It's perfect!


Delia said...

I've heard from other people who use notecards to help them plot out their novels. Like you said they just jot down a scene on a notecard or two and them put them all together. I've been thinking of trying it in hopes that it would help me plot. I'm a big time slacker in the plotting department and always end up writing by the seat of my pants, so to speak.