Writers’ Tools: Scene-by-Scene

As NaNoWriMo drains words from me like a gigantic novel leech, I have to take that tried-and-tested piece of November advice and silence my inner editor. The emphasis of Nano has always been word count above all else, with the idea that we can fix all in the edit - in a similar way that film-makers "fix it in post". If you're an intricate plotter, you probably start any new project, novel or screenplay or other, with a thick wedge of notes and an exact play-by-play of how your finished project is going to look. If, however, you're like me, you probably start with broad brushstrokes and then fill in the finer details as you go on. You may have a beginning, a middle and an end but how exactly those are going to fit together may be a complete mystery. I hold an interesting position in that I am both a screenwriter and a novelist. Screenwriting tends to be much more heavy-handed...
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Writers’ Tools: Plot Hog

This post was brought to you by April Fools Day 2014 Plot Hog is a unique writers' tool that I am proud to unveil for you today. Unlike previous writing aids discussed on this blog - such as Story Forge and Google Maps - this is a revolutionary technique of my own invention. I can guarantee that incorporating Plot Hog into your work will change your writing forever. You will never look at an index card the same way again. What is Plot Hog? Currently in its fourth month of development, Plot Hog is a relatively simple technique which capitalises on the prior successes of notable individuals like Punxsutawney Phil and Paul the Octopus. It is particularly useful for those times when you haven't a clue who the murderer is but you have a deadline tomorrow. It's also fantastic for choosing which character to kill off in your season finale (If you're feeling particularly Whedonesque, you can use this every couple of episodes or so). All...
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Writers’ Tools: Tactile Spreadsheet

While waiting for various co-written projects to make their way back to my inbox and anxiously querying literary agents, I have decided to distract myself by remembering to update my blog. (I apologise in advance if this makes as much sense as monkeys attempting Shakespeare - I am full of lurgy) The contents of this post will be obvious to many of you. Writers love index cards. They love that they come in lots of different colours and can be written on with a variety of coloured pens. They love them so much that they peruse stationary shops looking for the perfect bulldog clips to safely secure them. However, beating out a plot is only one way to utilise those tantalisingly blank rectangles. I am going to present a more complicated system that some of you may seize as vital to screenplay composition, and which others will love because it adds another few hours of procrastination before actually having to write the damn...
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