Screenplay – more prewriting tippage (v)

You might have noticed that I’m a bit of a mutt (poi dog for those of you in Hawaii)… a spiritual mutt, a cultural mutt… I’m also a mutt in terms of my writing process. I’ve taken so many different workshops and read various books, but don’t espouse any one person’s philosophy or method. I collect the tools that work for me and put them in my toolbox.

Every mentor and professional writer has a different method for pre-writing. The only constant is that they all prewrite. So far I’ve shared some pre-writing exercises I use and talked about loglines and dilemmas. Another exercise is simply talking your story out loud.

One of my favourite books on screenwriting is Crafty Screenwriting by Alex Epstein.  Talking the story out loud is one way he prepares. I highly recommend this. It can be a fellow writer, your spouse, your mother… it’s just a really effective exercise. It’s so non-committal, too. Ideas can float around in a non-threatening way. You can wander in the story, your friend can ask questions. You can ask questions yourself.

I had my first meeting with my writing partner and that’s what we did. She talked about a place where she was stuck in her draft, and I started from the beginning and thought the story out loud.

Do it, try it, it’s quite inspiring. You never know what you might think up.


  1. Suma Subramaniam
    Feb 16, 2009

    Hi Danika

    Thank you for the comment. I do support Tandan and I do hope she wins it for all the women out there.

    Your point of reading out loud is an interesting tactic to critique. I did try the technique a few times before and it made an impact, not just on me but also on the listener and drove in a level of objectivity.

    I’m going to change the link against your name on my blog to wordpress. I’ve been putting it off for a long time now.

  2. openchannel
    Feb 19, 2009

    Suma – hey! thanks for popping in.

    Yes, that level of objectivity for sure… sometimes it takes an outside eye to ask the right questions.

  3. poetry666
    Feb 24, 2009

    thanks for getting back to me. good writing is alot of work for most people i have met and you certainly spend the extra time to do that. feel free to critique the automatic writing i do on wordpress.

  4. openchannel
    Feb 25, 2009

    Hi P666 – Thanks and I would, except you haven’t left me link. 🙂


  1. Screenplay: The Frenzy – Preparing for the Challenge « The Accidental Novelist (Writes Again) - [...] 1) TALK your story ideas out loud. [...]

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