Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It Takes A Binder

I've started another book. I know this because I've taken a binder (one of those old old clothes covered faded blue ones) and put in separators with color tags which represent chapters.

(OK so this isn't actually my binder but a foto of someone else's binder. You can tell because it would never occur to me to put  a plant on my binder. Chocolate, yes, but leaves?)

This binder thing is both ritual and practical. Ritual because this is always how I've started a book. Practical because even in the age of writing and taking notes on a computer, there are always odd bits of stuff that have to go somewhere.
That step can't be done until the whole book makes sense to me, somewhere deep in my brain. Oh, it will change before it's done, but the basic format is there.

And then I have to organize it in that binder before I go further.

So "Venetians Invented Everything" has its binder now, and there are pages in there with notes, and some articles, and some jotted ideas. Even a few pages of real live writing.

I am off and running. It feels good, but the organization also brings me to the knowledge of how much work there is when you write a nonfictions book, especially by jumping into the history of another place, another culture, and another language. But that's what makes it captivating.

Next post: the joy of  index cards. Or for some of you younger folks, an explanation of what an index card might be.

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