Writers’ Tools: Story Forge

I have been meaning to write this post for a long time, as evidenced by the fact that the first photo I took for it was while I was still planning my wedding and I'm been married almost seventeen months! Back in March 2012, I saw this cool Kickstarter project on my Twitter timeline (back when one's Twitter timeline wasn't chock-full of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the like). I was immediately intrigued and backed it, making it the best $25 I've ever spent on my writing. What is Story Forge? What may at first look like tarot cards for maximum upheaval in your life are in fact prompts for the fiction writer's imagination. Using the suggested layouts in the accompanying booklet, you can pick a plot, design a dramatic decision or concoct captivating characters. The deck is nominally divided into five suits - Destiny, Wealth, Will, Emotion and Identity - but this has never greatly affected the outcomes for me. You can read more...
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Perfect Profiling

As my sit com script heads into major re-draft, the advice from all angles is the same: it's all about the characters. The situations may be inherently funny, but often the real comedy value is in putting extraordinary characters into ordinary situations - and watching them flail. To get a good grasp of character, I turned to a new book my in-laws bought me: Successful Novel Plotting by Jean Saunders.. While perusing in the tub, I came across her POV on character profiles. She used the example of her daughter and issued a string of random knowledge to encourage familiarity with the "character". However, I don't do well with random. Therefore, I codified her example thus and named it "Saunders Character Profile" (catchy): Open with a unique fact. Age, marital status/dating habits and progeny. Physical trait, personality trait and occupation. Personality trait, personality trait, and career history/aspirations. Vices and social life. Hobby, hobby and hobby. Holidays and travel. Relationship with friends and family. Tastes in film and...
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