Writers’ Tools: The Mind Map

Yes, I vanished again. Let's blame an abundance of both work and holidays - go summer! But I have not been idle. Indeed, friends, I have been knee-deep in preparation for a Script Retreat. Doesn't that sound grand? Basically, it goes like this: See, these guys called Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Lawrence Kasdan decided to go away for a few days in 1978 and work on this thing called Raiders of the Lost Ark. And the guys over at Realm Pictures decided they would emulate their heroes and go away for a weekend to work on The Underwater Realm. Jon Dupont, our producer, then sets us all homework to do prior to this script retreat. It's like going on a Biology Field Trip, seriously. Our first task: characters. I love characters. They're one of my favourite things about films. I grin at their entrances, swoon at their first kisses and cry when they die heroically in a decent-sized explosion. However, most of my...
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LCWF packing

It's a last-minute packing job for the London Comedy Writers Festival! If you're at a loss this weekend, I believe there are a handful of tickets still on sale! So, what's in my bag? - BUSINESS CARDS! Two full boxes of funky designs ready for eager hands to steal them away. - One pagers. I have two - one for a series and one for a feature - ready to dish out to those whose interest is piqued by my project, as per the recommendation of Laurence Timms. May have a slightly unusual presentation... - Delegate Handbook, printed hard copy and saved to my Dropbox for phone access - Two notebooks and a stash of pens, just as Oli Lewington suggests. - Glasses! I need to see the presenters and read back my notes. And leave without a blinding headache. - Some clothes and stuff. Might be an idea. - Laptop! Unfortunately, I haven't scraped together the time or the cash to buy a new netbook, so the...
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Plot on the go

Inspiration is unpredictable. And often inconvenient in timing. I've gone through phases on how I record my lightning-bolt moments. Until recently, I used to carry a notebook in my bag to scrawl down whatever came into my head - the "rewrite" of Steampunk Assassins took place on a train (naturally) with a bunch of papers tied together with red ribbon. When I was younger, I had a Dictaphone. I would write poetry and flash-fiction on it, record random plot ideas and sing songs into it. My co-writer and I once sat down all afternoon with it and recorded a lengthy discussion on how best to play out our magnum opus (as yet unwritten - ah, teen spirits!). I also had a mini-computer, which did me very well - until I tried to use in on a coach and it careered into the window, smashing the screen. My PDA was bought for work purposes but was also appropriated for plotting and writing. Now, I have...
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