Six impossible things

Posts Tagged tools

Choreographing scenes

Scene choreography or planning is a thing that some writers do up front, some do as a routine part of their process, and some hardly ever bother with even though they’re not pantsers, strictly speaking. What I’m talking about here is a whole class of preparation variously […]

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Looking for Perfection

A long time back, I heard a story about a man who wanted a famous artist to draw him a picture of a cat. “Come back in a year,” the artist told him. A year later, the man returned, eagerly anticipating the masterpiece that had taken the […]

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Questions, questions

One of the ways writers make progress in their work is by answering questions: Who murdered the butler? Why did the rabbit stew explode? Where did George get those kneebles, and what is he planning to do with them? But in order to answer a question, one […]

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Storyboarding for novelists

Storyboarding is a structure analysis technique that comes out of the film industry, where it’s been used since the very early days to give writers, directors, and producers a sort of visual outline of a film. A true storyboard is a series of drawings, each of which […]

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Writing software 2016

This is the last post on software stuff, I promise. I’d planned to start by saying that all anyone really needs is a basic text editor, but then I ran across Writemonkey. It is the most basic text editor I’ve seen since 1982 – the only thing […]

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Writing Software: Things to consider, part 1

After a bunch of writing and due consideration, I changed my mind about what I’m doing in this  post. I’m going to start with two posts on the basic features you see in writing software, and then look at a couple of specific programs. Because I was […]

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Writing Tools, 2016

Every so often, I go on a binge of trying out new and different writing tools (usually when I am feeling stuck, out of a totally unreasonable conviction that somewhere out there is a gadget or a program that will make some aspect of writing easier, more […]

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Mostly About Time

Everybody gets 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. That’s 168 hours, total. Nobody gets any more; nobody gets any less. Yet somehow one of the first things that gets asked when I talk to a bunch of would-be writers is “How do you make time […]

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Making stuff up: plot to characters

The plot-centered story is popularly assumed to be the territory of the action-adventure story. This is because action-adventure pretty much requires a strong plot. But we’re talking about process here, and the way writers make stuff up, and that means that the kind of story is irrelevant. […]

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How it gets said #1: Word choice and phrasing

The second aspect of dialog, after “what people are talking about,” is how they talk about it. This is where the technical aspects of dialog begin to come into play: word choice, phrasing, idiom, syntax, and punctuation. That’s enough that it’s going to take me more than […]

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