I have read nineteen classic novels. For more than two years I have been working on this DIY master’s degree, playing by the journaling “rules” of the program. My classmates and I have shared how we each tackle the note-taking part of this course. I confess there have been times when in the heat of finishing a book, the summarizing has suffered. Carefully crafted sentences written in a notebook become a hastily scribbled fragments in the book’s margins. I am fine with that.
I am not fine with journaling Mrs. Dalloway.
Mrs. Dalloway is a book of thoughts and memories (read that as no plot). At first I thought I would focus on characters. I would list the names and add quotes and descriptions, sketching out what makes Clarissa Clarissa and Peter Peter.
Twenty-four pages into the book there was a break. I noted it in my journal. But I couldn’t list the fact under any particular character, so I started a new page. Now I’m listing descriptions of characters, and I am listing events. But sometimes my events are things like…”Clarissa sits in a chair and reminisces about memories from the past. Peter is in the same room doing the same thing.”
Tell me readers: How are you managing notes for this novel?