When I first started writing seriously, I kept a little text file on my desktop where I would rapidly jot down ideas for the premises of stories. Eventually, this turned into a notebook that I tried and failed to carry around. Then it turned into a collection of random documents on Google Docs. It’s current incarnation is a folder on my EverNote account.
With evernote, I can record voice notes, type ideas in on the computer or my phone, include photos, and more. Pretty much anything I want to remember and have accessible from anywhere, I throw into Evernote these days, and that includes story ideas.
But I wanted to talk about the importance of capturing more than just the premise for stories. I’ve started trying to capture any kind of fascinating tidbit that I think might be useful at some point. When I see a person with a trait that I think would make an interesting concept for a character, I put it in. Collect everything, because I am finding that when inspiration is running a little low, these notes can be the kernel of creative energy I need to steamroll through a project.
I also carry around a flexible-cover Moleskine notebook, and I do jot down story ideas in here, but I also use that for website thumbnail sketches, doodles, and more. Because I do all my writing on a computer, it works very well for me to have this central, searchable tool for my random bits of ideas.
Somtimes, writing a story is like playing Katamari Damacy. You just keep rolling the sticky ball of your brain around until it accumulates enough junk to let you go to the next level.