writing secrets

secrets time aka how I get ‘it’ onto the ‘blank page’

Secrets time. I write screenplays and not novels. As I am a visual person not a words person. I think you are the first person I’ve heard mention using an Excel spreadsheet as part of your novel organising process. I routinely use Excel – it allows one to put down random ideas and then sort them in different ways. But you are right, It’s what works for YOU.

Screenwriters use those little coloured index cards. They are great as you can carry them anywhere and mix up the order. Use different colours for scenes, character biogs and plot lines.  And add icons and dooodles.  Then play out the scene in your head – even in midst of day job ‘board/bored’ meetings.

Then I ‘go for it’. Only refer back to them when stuck/done (rarely, if at all). Even I don’t know where the ‘final version’ comes from. One gets to know the characters, and when you know them, you know how they will react to the situation YOU the writer puts them in.

This is a response to CC Lester’s blog post about how s/he manages to finish (not just write) a novel.


This entry was posted in random reflections, scriptwriting, Story inspiration, Uncategorized, writer, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to writing secrets

  1. cclester says:

    With TDN each chapter has a ‘colour’ – the reason for which is explained in a later chapter. And so I also used my good old Excel sheet to track the colours, and the chapter names and other extraneous info about the book 🙂 I think it actually helps me feel like I’m achieving something to see more ‘concrete’ results.

    BTW I’m a ‘she’ 🙂
    Charly xx

    • lauratrefor says:

      I have a treatment (like an outline for a novel) for a TV series and each week I had a colour.

      PS I know you are a she – but I like the idea of s/he for people like you who want it to be ambiguous, and like me who’s ‘other name’ like Charlie could be either gender. Solves that whole glass ceiling stuff. And in the UK legal system everyone one is he: where he encompasses she!! I don’t like that.

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