Keeping Up with Story Ideas

These days, everything is a time suck. I’m editing my current WiP for the last time, I hope. The sequel is waiting for me to finish it, plus I have other projects lurking in various stages of incompleteness. To complicate matters, other characters keep popping up all over the place.

As a way of keeping up, I scribble story ideas on anything available in my handbag. Not a good thing to do. Intriguing thoughts get lost if I don’t remember to copy them off the napkin, bus ticket or fast food place mat I wrote on when inspiration hit. You’d think with the number of notebooks I own, I’d have one in my bag at all times. Not so.
Like a lot of writers, I’m addicted to buying doodads, including notebooks, pens, cute book markers, highlighters and itty-bitty sticky notes. You name it, I’ll buy it. Comes the time though, when I have to face the fact that I own a lot more ‘must haves’ than I need. 
Months ago, I also realized that I had too many blogs going, but I needed a place to stash the stories I didn’t plan to start working on right away. To avoid more paper, I made one blog private and started unloading my story ideas there.

I can access the blog anywhere to add new ideas. I’m no longer making up excuses to buy yet another note book, and I can keep track of how various plot lines are progressing, based on the blog entries over time.

In a crunch, I might use my phone to store shiny new projects, but that private blog has become a valued repository with pages dedicated to different projects. Research links go on the relevant story page, so when I’m ready to tackle a project, I can find related material readily. When it’s time to start writing the next story, the blog posts will be start-up material for a project bible. And I should add that I’m no longer losing time looking for inspiration I captured on a bill that somehow vanished into the maw of my handbag.

This approach might not be a viable idea for you, but what other ways do you use to save time and capture story ideas?

J.L. Campbell lives in sunny Jamaica and is the author of Contraband, Dissolution and Don’t Get Mad…Get Even. When she isn’t plotting and researching new projects, she enjoys lollygagging on her blog at Twitter link – @JL_Campbell