Tag: plot

  • 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 looks like a novel. But just as a pile of organs and limbs does not […]

  • 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 the meat of your writing project, that is, the actual writing of chapters, scenes or […]

  • 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 greater in length than the novel he was to later write. Others plan lightly, perhaps […]

  • 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, roughly speaking, it’s a retelling of a famous fairytale through drama, slapstick and song in […]

  • 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 no idea what to do with. I could be out and about and suddenly have […]

  • 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 as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World) and despite its ultimate success […]

  • 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 unfinished story abounding with unanswered questions. Who killed Edwin Drood? Who was the Dick Datchery […]

  • 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 actual prose. This comes as a bit of a surprise to me because I usually […]

  • 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 decided on a theme for each of these chapters, so we each took half of them. We would […]

  • 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 in his story. I, because I’m a geek, went home and turned it into a […]