Zettelkasten Forum


Fiction writer from France

Hello all!
I have been lurking for quite a while since discovering the Zettelkasten method and I finally decided to jump into the discussion. I'm a science-fiction and fantasy writer, living between France and Australia, and I'm interested in the Zettelkasten mostly to organise my "real world knowledge" that come useful when writing fictional worlds, as well as documenting and making sense of my artistic practice. Looking forward to exchange about the use of the Zettelkasten method in art!

"A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it." - Ernest Hemingway

Mac / iOS user, Zettelkasten built upon DEVONthink, GTD system upon OmniFocus.
Writing done using Drafts as an inbox, Scrivener and Ulysses for production.

Comments

  • @KillerWhale I am what you would call an "aspiring writer", having all my life scribbled down thoughts for stories and story segments. They used to be all over the place, on pieces of paper, in my journal and other notebooks, and randomly on my computer. They are now all in my budding Zettelkasten. So, I don't have any experience to share, but I think it's a perfect reason to have a Zettelkasten, and I hope mine will encourage and enable my story writing efforts.

  • Very nice. As two side projects, I have one fantasy epos (started when I was 8) and one cyberpunk book that is still in its worldbuilding phase (and perhaps will never leave it).

    So, I am looking forward on how you'll adapt your Zettelkasten to your needs.

    I am a Zettler

  • Hello and thanks for the welcome :smile:
    At this stage of my approach of the subject, I believe the Zettelkasten should be made for real-world notes, and thinking about the craft itself, but not for the fictional worlds themselves. Because they are, by nature, fictitious and so it seems to me that mixing fiction and fact is bound for trouble.

    Suppose I'm writing about elves: I could have the elves as they work in universe A, the elves as they work in universe B, and then background thinking about the way they've been treated in Tolkien, Feist, Japanese anime, and the mythical and symbolical roots. Putting everything in the same place seems dangerous to me. I would keep my own worlds separate, in two different wikis, and have the Zettelkasten for all the background thinking.

    An additional reason for that is that creating a work of fiction is a work of discovery (even if you take extensive notes beforehand) until the very last moment (when the book goes to the publisher). Only the writing itself defines the ideas and the trajectories in fiction, no matter how much preparative work you put into it. So everything can always change, and that seems too shaky ground for the Zettelkasten in my opinion.

    At least that's how I intend to start.

    "A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it." - Ernest Hemingway

    Mac / iOS user, Zettelkasten built upon DEVONthink, GTD system upon OmniFocus.
    Writing done using Drafts as an inbox, Scrivener and Ulysses for production.

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