I was thinking about my post regarding script writing and I realized I left out some stuff I wanted to talk about – my process! I have found some neat ways to go about the early stages of writing along the way that work really well for me, and they might be helpful for you too.
When I am about to dig into something new that I am not totally sure how to proceed I often find myself comforting my fear of the unknown with copious research. Whenever I think, “well, I’m not sure how to do that.” or “well, what would one do if they were trying to [insert thing I don’t know anything about] ?” my response used to be a trip to the library and a couple hours with the dictionary and a thesaurus. These days, while I still like to dig into the big books, I really enjoy research on the web. Pretty much anything you want to know is out there somewhere. The only trouble is finding reliable information as apposed to the rambling of some nut job. It’s really fun to start with one search and hours later find that you have gone down so many varied avenues of thought and learned so many things that you’re ready to start putting the pen to the paper…maybe.
Next is the matter of inspiration. Who knows when it is going to strike? So I try and keep some method of recording ideas with me all the time. Either I can record voice notes on my digital recorder, or now my iPhone, or I have a pad in my pocket and my bag and try to keep a pen with me as well.
What I usually do is write down in a notebook each idea I have and put a note out in the margin categorizing it. You can make up whatever shorthand works for you, but when I’m working on a script idea I find those categories usually are “Character” “Plot” & “Scene.” So I’ll end up with a notebook full of little notes about those things and sometimes a few more. Then, when the notebook is full, I’ll transfer them all to individual notecards. I know this means writing them on paper twice already, and that’s not very green of me, but I find that it’s a good way for me to hone the ideas and really think them through.
Next time I’ll talk about what I do with the note cards once it looks like I might have enough for a story.