Blog Archives

Four and a half things a good self-editor needs to do

So, one day, after lots of ideas have been passed around and plans drawn up and several chapters written and hacked about, the collaborative writers wake up to the realisation that they’ve written a novel. Or at least something that

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

Novel writing processes

You and your collaborator(s) may have devised a setting, some characters and the plot of your story but this represents only the beginning of the creative process for collaborative writers. At some point, you are going to need to tackle

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

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

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Curtain Calls and the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome

Now, I’m not a big theatregoer but I have a huge and perverse love for that most British of traditions, the Christmas pantomime. To explain the essence of pantomime to anyone who has never seen one is almost impossible but,

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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

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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: , , , , , , , ,

Sewing the pieces together

Boris Karloff in Frankenstein, 1931 Charles Dickens died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished. His readers, who had followed the story of Drood, his Uncle Jasper and the Landless siblings, were left with an

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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: , , , ,

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: , , , ,