Eibon Films Horror, Fantasy and SciFi writer / filmmaker and friend of the weird

14Sep/170

Soundscapes – Redux

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Fans of synth soundtrack music, video nasties and 'the glory days of VHS' - please check out the excellent new album REDUX: https://videogram.bandcamp.com/album/videogram-redux

- The keen eyed will notice my name appearing in the credits - for a video ident I did for him (and what the album cover design is based on). Which I hope you will get to see soon.

- thanks Magnus (aka Videogram)! You're very kind.

I really like this album and it's great to write to. I can't wait to somehow persuade a film soundtrack out of him. (*sssh!*)

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7Nov/150

Mind Map – finally teaching myself to outline and plot

With Nanowrimo 2016 happening, and the usual helpful and inspirational posts on writing techniques and tips flying around, I've been reading up on how to outline / Plot stories. This is especially pertinent, as I am in the middle of writing 2 new short stories, and rewriting a third. Plot and structure are very much on my mind. However, I am not doing Nanowrimo - just to be clear.

One of the excellent articles I read was this one: HOW I USE A MIND MAP TO BUILD STORIES by Paul Donovan Campos on Ian Broome's blog. There's an excellent explanation of his technique, with example screenshots that fully demonstrate the technique. Please go there are read it.

As a result of that article, I've built a template for my own use, but put it up for you guys to use and download HERE. It's built in Scapple - built by the same company behind the excellent Scrivener writing tool. If you don't use Scapple or Mac OSX, it won't be much use to you. Sorry. But for those that do, I hope you find it useful.

Please let me know if you're using it and if there are any potential improvements that could be made. 🙂

Mind Map scapple

Mind Map screenshot from Scapple

Download the Scapple Mind Map template I created here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/glb9j5lrsuatcb8/Blank_MindMap_Story.scap?dl=0

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16Oct/140

Nanowrimo 2014 needs you!

Hey you! yes you!

[leans closer and tries to appear less-creepy] You look rather lovely.

[Cue beaming ingratiating smile] Mind if I tell you about Nanowrimo and why you should be taking part this year???? No? Cool.

Nanowrimo 2014

Nanowrimo logo

Let me begin:

What is this Nanowrimo that you speak of? - National Novel Writing Month. It's a competition to write a novel in the month of November. And even though it has that pesky US-centric 'national' in the title, it's actually International baby. that means anyone can join it… but only if they're from Earth.

When does it take place? - November. So get prepping now. But write the thing in November. When you finish, you can spend the rest of the year reworking your work of literary genius.

Is that even possible - to write a novel in one month? - Why yes it is. In fact I've done it. And I was working for a real slave driver of a company back then and pulling funky hours in my day job. I managed to write it by writing on the train on the way to work and the way back and in my lunch hours, and then grabbing whatever time I could manage by writing at night or especially at the weekends. That's right, 60,000 words penned in one month. Sadly, since then it's not gone so well, due to work and illness getting in the way. But this year I am resolute; I will do this. And if you don't believe me - click HERE. I was able to convince my very generous partner to give me some slack on the housework and social obligations, just enough (not a complete get out of jail free card) to give me the time to get it done. And I sacrificed a little gym time too. It's doable.

Why would you do it? -

Calvin and Hobbes cartoon

Writing can be fun

  1. Firstly, because it's fun. No really! If you enjoy writing, as I do, and you enjoy a fun competitive atmosphere - by this I mean that there are plenty of motivational emails, forums and posts within the Nanowrimo community to motivate you. You can also get to meet other cool people in real life, by attending the writing groups and going to meet-ups. So that support network is there if you want it too. I flew solo the first time. It's a lonely experience. But totally doable if human contact freaks you out.
  2. It's great seeing those word counts increase each day and competing with others, and more importantly yourself, with seeing how much better you can do the following day. Yes it's hella stressful when it goes a bit wrong. But when you overcome those barriers and carry on regardless, it's a truly awesome feeling. if you've felt that 'flow' before, you'l totally get this.
  3. Curiosity. I was dying to see if it was even possible. Could I become a novelist? Could I walk that long lonely road? Yes i could. What doesn't kill you makes you a cat or something. A cool cat. A feline with mad typing skills. Or at least, it makes you a little deranged by the end of it. But now that I've done it, I know it can be done again.

What if I don't know how to write or I am not confident in my abilities? - it doesn't matter. Have a crack at it. No one has to actually see the finished article but you, until you're ready to share it. You'll never know if you're any good until you can get feedback. Consider it a practice run, with added fun motivation, for when you may later want to do it again for real.

What if I want to write a screenplay instead? - it's cool people. Just do it. It's kinda breaking the rules, but the organisers understand. After all they also used to do the very cool ScriptFrenzy competition (to write a feature screenplay in the month of April - which I've also done. Sadly it's now no longer running formally). The words still count. There's a community of like-minded people also doing it. Trust me. Heck, you can even take an existing screenplay and adapt it as a novel if you like.

So where do I start? - sign-up on the site. They will point you in the right direction - prep advice HERE. I'd also look for your local regional group - join them - and get busy. Plan away. You'll need to have an idea of what you're going to write. Possibly more on that later...

What do I use to write it? - you can use anything - even pen and paper at first and then type it all up later. use MS Word / Pages, a free text editor like Notepad / the ipad or iPhone Notepad app, or Celtx or Novlr. But if you want to try other tools - check out the Nanowrimo sponsor DEALS. There are plenty of deals, giving you money off the cost of various writing tools. Some of them like Scrivener even give you a free version of the software to use during the competition. I will be using Scrivener, Scapple and giving Aeon Timeline a try. You can even use tools such as the Livescribe pen or Equil Smart Pen 2 - if you want to write by hand and have your computer convert it to text you can cut and paste later.

-

Right, stop with the questions already. If you have more - go HERE to find out more.

[sighs heavily. Smiles and waves] Hopefully see you around in the forums and hear about your own Nanowrimo adventure. Bring free vodka next time. 🙂

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3Oct/140

Ever wanted to know the right name for a specific colour?

- well if you're terrible at naming colours, and sick of asking people, one writer (Ingrid Sundberg) with a very altruistic soul, has created an incredibly useful tool - a Colour thesaurus:

Check out the COLOUR THESAURUS HERE.

Here's White:

And thanks Ingrid. It's awesome!

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