We’ll be posting our notes on note-taking throughout the day today, beginning with Jeannette’s. Come back later to find out how Christine and Christina Joy manage their unassigned assignments. Don’t forget to check out our host, Adriana, and all the links she supplies to our WEM classmates.
Discipline. When you are a kid you hate it. When you are an adult you hate it too, at times, but realize its necessity.
Note-taking felt like a discipline at first. Susan Wise Bauer’s suggestion of keeping a journal, summarizing each chapter and keeping lists of characters seemed onerous. But now that we are well into the list, I can see the wisdom behind her suggestion. It IS helpful to look back and find out what happened without having to read the entire book or chapter over again. It DOES help you spot trends and important information. It DOES help keep your mind from wandering (or at least force you to re-read if your mind has wandered so that you can actually write a chapter summary.)
Adriana has already given us quite a few ideas about note-taking over at Classical Quest. Here are a few additional random things that may have worked for us, in no particular order. Since Adriana likes lists so much, we might as well continue that here!
1. Get an inspiring notebook. Find one that you enjoy seeing on your table, one with a cover that intrigues you, or one with quality paper. Mine (Jeannette) has a leather cover with a cord to wrap around it for closing. To me it feels decadent…my own personal indulgence. Journaling in this book is a privilege!
2. Jot down page numbers (or locations if using a Kindle) when something feels important, along with a brief description. You may not know why it is important at the time, but trust your instincts. Most of my blog posts have come from these things that have jumped out at me while reading.
3. Stick with the character lists! I got lazy with them for awhile, but have returned to them. It’s amazing what I can forget in the course of one novel. I also use this for a convenient spot to write down additional information about the character as the novel runs its course such as what he/she wants.
4. Mark quotes you love. If I’m reading in an “actual” book, I fold down page corners when I find quotes I love. It’s my book, so I can if I want to! (That’s the first child in me responding to parental voices in my head about desicrating books.) At the end I go back and re-read all my favorite quotes, and if I (or anyone else) ever picks the book up again, they can see the quotes I enjoyed as well! (Not expecting to pick up Portrait of a Lady ever again…but we’ll see.)