Early in my writing career I was encouraged to write in a Journal on a daily basis. My journal became a daily habit that I “indulge” in every morning. In my journal I make notes about what happened the day before and my plans for the new day. I write about my various projects for clients and for myself.
One of the challenges with my Journal has always been finding “the important” idea or the “outline” or “plan” when I need it. Because my Journal writing is prolific, finding the critical bit of information can often take an hour or more.
So when I ran into Andres Fragosso Jr.’s Writer’s Sidekick series, I was intrigued. Why didn’t I think of that … years ago? Andres has the perfect solution for writers who want to keep track of their projects and ideas in a way that engages both right and left brain thinking!
I chatted with Andreas about his series of Writer’s Sidekick notebooks.
Melanie Rockett: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
Andres Fragoso, Jr.: My name is Andres Fragoso, Jr. I didn’t start off as a writer, it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I started. It started with a poem for my sister that got published. So, I decided to write my own stories. I didn’t realize that I had so much in me to share. I worked hard for my bachelor’s and master’s degree. I wanted to run my own business. Instead, I freelance and do consulting work, which for me, it’s awesome. I am a published author; I have many stories published online.
Melanie Rockett: You have a series of paper-based notebooks called The Writer’s Sidekick. Can you tell us about how you came to develop these nifty writer’s tools?
Andres Fragoso, Jr.: When I started writing my stories I kept losing the notes. At one point I had five different notebooks of the same story. ”At one point” I had pieces of paper in other books. I used to have stick -it notes on my table and on the walls. I moved three times, and I just recently found a notebook full of ideas for a novel. I used to take a large notebook and tabbed it with colored tape and wrote on the tabs. That novel is now published and when I look back in the file box that is full of notebooks, calendars, lose leaf papers, printouts, etc. I laugh and I smile that I have Writer’s Sidekick helping me with the sequel.
Melanie Rockett: The notebooks are paper based. Why did you go in this direction instead of building an electronic app?
Andres Fragoso, Jr.: I still feel that we want to write on paper. It’s easier to pull out a notebook and leaf through it. Especially when you are in front of a desktop or laptop. My goal is for my generation and the ones before me to write their stories. I still write on notebooks and paper. I miss the old days where I could write a letter and mail it. No one does that anymore. Everyone is on the phone, the computer, or even with a tablet. Eventually I will have an app for the notebooks.
Melanie Rockett: What would one find inside a Writer’s Sidekick notebook? I suspect each one is different, so tell us about “The Writer’s Sidekick for Novels.”
Andres Fragoso, Jr.: Writer’s Sidekick for Novels is designed to write a full length novel. It’s broken down to its bare essentials for you to fill in the blanks. The genre, the story ideas, the characters, the settings, and more. It gives you an outline to fill in, and you do the rest on the computer. If you are half way into your novel and you forgot your protagonists sex or eye color, instead of searching for it in the file, or going crazy about where your notes are, you take out the notebook and there it is. It also tells you what their age is, their background, and other important information that you developed for that character. See, this way you have everything at your fingertips.
The Writer’s Sidekick for Completed Novels is designed for you to publish your novel. It gives you an outline of the front matter, the back matter, how your cover will look like, and more. It’s like a how-to-publish a book notebook.
The Notebook of Names is just that, Names. I have it full of names I’ve already used, what book it’s in, and I also have a list of names that I thought were cute and will use in one of my next books. I like to use names that go with the story’s timeline, the setting, and sometimes just for fun.
Melanie Rockett: How has using The Writer’s Sidekick notebooks changed YOUR life and how YOU work as a writer? ”
Andres Fragoso, Jr.: My life has changed. I can easily fill in the blanks and write a novel a lot faster. I don’t have to keep searching for notes, or trying to remember what they did. I have a few notebooks half way filled in because I’m still developing my stories. When I’m ready for the next one. I will be ready.
Melanie Rockett: I suspect from reading your blog and having seen the list of books you’ve already created, that you likely have one or more projects on the go. What will we see from you next?
Andres Fragoso, Jr.: I am still working on more Writer’s Sidekick Notebooks. I have one that is now used for making websites. It’s easy to use and it’s fun to make your author website. I try to help writers make the best use of their time writing and not worrying about spending too much money for advertising. Look forward to new notebooks on social media, blogging, and more.
Melanie Rockett: Thanks for chatting with us Andres. I know that I will be far more organized once I have a couple of your Sidekicks along side my morning Journal!
Be sure to check out Andres’ Website to see the entire Writer’s Sidekick Series, and to find out what he’s up to next!
ORGANIZE YOUR STORY