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Apropos my notebook post, I’ve been chatting with other writers about them. More importantly, what goes in them. As Jan Baynham pointed out in the comments, pretty or plain, it’s what we put on the pages that counts.

If I slack in my writing routine – which in spite of a level of self-discipline I sometimes do – my defence is often that I’m still scribbling notes. My handwriting is quite striking but it has wings. It isn’t very well-mannered & spreads itself. This is why I prefer unlined notebooks. I’m a big dismisser of lines in any case. Ever since, as a child, I read Lines and Squares by A A Milne, I rebelled! Bears didn’t scare me then & I still eschew lines!


In my unlined notebooks I can ramble at will & do. It makes for a decidedly scattered approach to story construction mind. There’s no method, no ‘Once upon a time – Middle bit – The end’.  But I enjoy the challenge of unravelling the random & making it fit. Coming across scenes I wrote months previously, & only half remember, delights me. And they often provide answers to issues I’m trying to work out. Oh yes! Already sussed that! (Long term memory, dear reader – par for course?)

I have no idea if my way is a recognised way of constructing a story. It works for me is all I know.

Mrs Woolf had a few words for it…


I have 27,000 words down of Underwater the Stars Shine Brighter. Some drifting & without direction, others quite orderly & pleasing; none of them pandering to bears. (I know – almost a dreadful, dreadful pun…)