"Making of Nightspell" Guest Post

Today I am so excited to welcome the incredible author Leah Cypess -- author of Mistwood and the soon-to-be-released Nightspell, which I really, really loved. Today Leah is here to talk a bit about her writing process for Nightspell - including some very awesome pictures of her writing notebooks. 
Making of Nightspell: Notebooks

This is the first of a four-part “Making of Nightspell” feature I’ll be doing as part of this blog tour. Ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes of an author’s work? Ever suspect it’s not half as exciting as what goes into making a movie? Well, here’s your chance! Starting with the glamorous world of notebooks.

I write my first drafts in longhand. Needless to say, because I’m a writer, I get obsessive about what type of notebook I use. It used to be that I used all types of notebooks, but would stand obsessively at the drugstore trying to figure out which specific notebook was right for this particular story. The notebook I ended up choosing when I first started writing Nightspell – at the age of 17 – was this one:

I filled about half that notebook, and wrote myself into a complete mess. Since I couldn’t see how to extricate myself, I ended up putting the notebook away and starting something new.

Ten years later, having quit my job to give full-time writing a try, I pulled that notebook out again and went through it, trying to figure out which parts of what I had written were worth salvaging. Most of it got nixed:

In fact, out of that entire notebook, I ended up with maybe a page’s worth of actual writing I wanted to salvage. And then I started from scratch. This time, my taste in notebooks had changed, ever since a friend in law school introduced me to these awesome notebooks from Japan:

I do a lot of writing on the playground these days, and these notebooks are wonderful for that: they’re really thin and fit perfectly into a small backpack. You can also fold them open and closed several million times without having them fall apart. These are the notebooks on which Nightspell was REwritten… for the first time.

For the next part of the Making of Nightspell, check out Books Complete Me on June 3!


Many, many thanks to Leah for stopping by and sharing her notebooks with us! 


Chachic said...

That Japanese notebook that Leah is talking about is from Muji, right? We have Muji stores here in the Philippines. :) Like I said in Michelle's review of Nightspell, I'm looking forward to reading that when it comes out!

Janicu said...

Wow! I love the notebook pictures. There's something about writing into notebooks and filling pages that feels so great. I have my own how-to books for work that I fill up.

@Chachic - yeah that looks like a Muji label to me too. Good call, I was just at Muji yesterday but didn't pick up on it looking at the picture.