The biography reading is so extensive, it would be easy to digest entire volumes and have no clue where anything is. That’s what an index is for, of course, and they are blessedly helpful. When I researched the Darwin book, I used yellow sticky tabs (made by cutting up Post-its) throughout the reading, marking everything interesting, every bit of essential information, description, or anecdote that suggested a scene. At the end, the books had a rumpled yellow fringe but no way to distinguish anything from anything else.
This time I have different colored tabs. Orange is for an incident in what I perceive so far to be the present story. Green is for a flashback possibility. Blue is something I deem blogworthy, either for its general interest or because it makes me think and I want it on the record. Pink is for a character generalization that I need to keep in mind–such as a statement of internal conflict. That leaves yellow, which I eschew. Perhaps I associate it with Darwin. The full-size yellow Post-its I am using for possible ending materials, as endings are so important and therefore proportionately scary to write.
I’ll see if this works better. There is much information that is contained in every biography of course, that is becoming part of my Einstein vocabulary. There is the usual problem, then, that once I am very familiar with the material, I forget what others don’t know. I assume. Thank goodness for my faithful reader who raises the red flag to say, “Wait. I don’t know what this is about!”