Inside Cornelia's Notebooks

If, one day, you find yourself talking with Cornelia Funke, you'll likely find your eyes drawn to one of several A4 notebooks she carries with her—to events, to the beach, scattered around her home. Just looking at the covers, it's clear Cornelia is an artist of both words and images, and her doodled collages lend so much character to the notebooks in which she writes her stories.

These notebooks, from the words to the clippings and sketches Cornelia's drawn herself, are how she visualizes the stories she's telling long before she can see the whole narrative arc. She not only uses the notebooks to write drafts longhand (in German!), but also creates character sketches, jots down characteristics and questions, and pastes delicate images onto the pages, all of which coax the story towards her, bit by bit.

Here at Breathing Books, we thought you'd like to browse her notebooks, some of the pages of which can be found in the carousel below:

If you're in for a blast from the past, check out this video interview Cornelia did in 2008, in her Beverly Hills Writing House. Her notebooks have changed a lot since then! In the past several years, Cornelia's been adding more and more mixed media to her drafting process, and now has an art studio, where visions of characters arrive through oil and canvas as well.