Writing Methods & Birthdays

What have writing methods got to do with birthdays?

Nothing really, but I’m going to cover both things in this post so I figured it might be a bit more explanatory to go with that as a title rather than one of my usual random statements.

But first, for a quick note, you may have noticed that I’ve jiggled the blog widgets again. I promise that I’m not doing this to confuse you all. I’ve just been trying to optimise it so you can find everything so much easier without it being terribly confusing and cluttered. I hope it’s worked.

And now for some writing chatter.

I’m interested to find out how you like to write your scenes out. I know that, personally, I find it easier to create them a bit like an oil painting. A bit like pencil lines, I start with my initial note on what the scene entails. It could be a fairly detailed note or just something jotted down on a piece of paper. An example:

MC meets Ian in pub. Black out & gunshot. Ian covered in blood when lights come on.

This would be a typical sort of note for one of my scenes. It isn’t an actual note, but I’m sure you get the idea.

Of course, a note doesn’t make a scene. After that I tend to get myself some unlined paper, clipboard and a pen. Clipboards aren’t necessary but I have three hanging around so I might as well use them as it makes it so much easier to hold onto my notes. The point is that I prefer plain paper for this next bit because it makes it easier to jot little notes if I need to.

The plain paper is for dialogue. I like to write the scene’s dialogue out as a piece of script. That way I can add in my notes about how the characters are going to say their lines and if anything happens in between their lines I can just write a quick note instead of reams of description. It might sound unnecessary.

You might wonder why I don’t just write the scene straight onto the page without this step, but the truth is that it makes conversations between characters flow so much better. I also don’t end up getting bogged down by my love of description and metaphors and have to come back to the dialogue.

So, when I get to writing the scene up I can add in all of that wonderful description and not have to worry too much about how the dialogue works because I’ve already sorted it out. After all this, though, I still go back and edit a few times until it’s the best that it can be.

It does, however, make me wonder if anyone else uses a similar technique or if someone has a different method that they think really helps them to produce the best writing that they can. So if you do and you want to share, please post a comment. I’d really be interested to hear.

And now to birthday news.

You may not know this but this journal was a year old on the 19th February. In that time it’s had over 4000 views, which, I think you’ll agree, is a pretty nice number for a blog from an unknown (and probably uninteresting) person.

It was also my twenty-first birthday yesterday. So thanks to everyone who sent me congratulatory messages. I know, I’m surprised I survived thus far too.

Winking smile

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