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.