|My brain at the moment...
I went to visit a friend the other day and knew that I would probably get some quiet time on the train to work on "book 6" (first book of the fantasy trilogy). Right enough, on the way there I did a load of work on it.
On the way back...
I started to jot "just a few notes" about something else that's been flittering around in my brain for a few weeks, "just to get it down on paper... not to really start writing it."
It's now got its Own Notebook.
Initial thoughts and ideas always go in one particular notebook. I start there, noodle about with them a bit and see where they go. If they seem interesting, but not likely to have enough substance to become a full book, they stay in the ideas notebook. I may go back to them and work them into something else; I may do nothing with them.
But once I think an idea might eventually become a book, I start doing notes for it in its own notebook. These are still usually fairly slim - A5 exercise books used to be my favourite, but I've moved towards B5 as a preferred size - just 80 pages or so. And at this stage, I'm still playing around with ideas and asking lots of questions - the old who, what, why, where, when type of thing. Eventually, I tend to move towards an A4 notebook to start actually planning the book (though I may use chunkier B5 notebooks, since I have my writing Deskfax all set up!).
The idea that has been buzzing around my head for the last few weeks...? Oh, it now has a cast of characters and I spent a whole afternoon last week on online property pages, finding a suitable house for the setting!
The trick will be to get enough out of my head that I won't feel like I'll lose it all, but not so much that I end up writing it now instead of clearing away what I should be working on.
Now that's a fine balancing act!