Blog Archives

Plotting your novel collaboratively

Before being written down, all stories are plotted out. Some writers plot in enormous detail, generating more words in plans and background text than in the finished work of fiction. PG Wodehouse wrote pages and pages of preparatory notes, sometimes

Posted in 2012, How-to's, Writing Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Clovenhoof v Draculas

Heide and I have been working on our collaborative novel since last autumn and we’re mere weeks away from finishing a healthy-looking draft of the entire thing. We’ve tackled the collaborative aspect of writing in our own way, simply doing

Posted in 2012, Books, Reflections, Writing Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Index Card Games

I’ve used index cards (or file cards or postcards) as part of my fiction planning for at least the last ten years. They serve a number of really useful functions. Firstly, I can jot down on them ideas that I’ve

Posted in 2012, How-to's, Writing Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Digging to France

In 1990, a consortium of companies from both France and the United Kingdom completed the Channel Tunnel, a 31 mile undersea rail link between the two countries. It was a major engineering feat (regarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers

Posted in 2012, Reflections, Writing Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

From Ideas to Planning to Prose

We’ve been blogging at Idle Hands for exactly one month, one week and one day, charting our attempts to write a collaborative comic fantasy novel about Satan’s days in retirements on earth. We’re now in the process of writing some

Posted in 2011, Writing Tagged with: , , , ,

The Clovenhoof Bible

At this point in time, Heide and I are knee-deep in planning individual chapters of the Clovenhoof novel (have I mentioned we still need a cool title?). We’re perhaps even only days away from writing some actual prose. However, the

Posted in 2011, Writing Tagged with: , , , , ,

Being Flexible

We’ve learned an interesting lesson in the last week. We came away from our last planning session with a firm idea of what we would do next. We’d plotted how things would go for Clovenhoof during each month of our timeline. We’d

Posted in 2011, Writing Tagged with: , , ,

A work in progress

I had never realised that drawing pretty lines on a roll of wallpaper could be such a useful plotting tool. With the wallpaper activity, Heide and I were able to visualise and share our vision of Satan’s ups and downs

Posted in 2011, Writing Tagged with: , , , ,

Planning in more detail

Sharpies at the ready In order to do some more detailed planning, we met up to have a chat in a pub. Most of the discussion so far has been by email, or in the company of the rest of

Posted in 2011, Writing Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Plotting Our Story: Movie, TV Series or Novel

Yeah, I’m going to write about plotting again because, although I’ve laid out my interpretation of the three act structure, how we use that in plotting a whole piece depends upon what kind of piece it’s going to be. I’m

Posted in 2011, Writing Tagged with: , , , , ,