guilty of being ...

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Still Saving the Cat

So Blake Snyder (Save the Cat ) is feeding my tendency to fiddle-fart around in the guise of "writing" by claiming that the time you spend in Office Depot checking out office supplies to help you outline your script (or novel) is part of the writing process.

Now this should be easy, right? Index cards? (Or if you prefer, spiral.) Check. Grab a rubber band and you're set.

Except you really need to be able to spread them out, look at the story flow, rearrange at will. And that might mean you'd have to find a clear table or pick up the books off the floor, which is when you go to the trusty cork board. (By the way, I just found this nifty thing and boy do I feel out of it -- is it covered with Post-it (tm) stickum, or what?)

So, okay, cards and a board, there ya go, you're ready, right?

Um, no. Because one, that's too easy. And two, I have no wall space in my office. Too many bookcases. Besides, I don't even write in my office. Laptop, comfy chair, wifi -- why would I stay in the office?

Okay, so this broadens the search, and this is what led me to the writer/reader crack also known as Levenger. And can you believe this?


Bleachers! For index cards! Have you seen anything this cute ever?

Two probs. One, these bleachers have six rows, and Snyder (see above) recommends four rows. Two, I'd have to clean off my desk, if I were even sitting at my desk, but we've already been there.

But they are so cute...!

Next? More Levenger-crack. A full-size folio.

Veddy-veddy pretty. Leather, always a plus. But expensive. Yikes!

This is portable which is what I'm really looking for. But only three rows, and doesn't really hold enough cards. And expensive, sigh.

At this point, I'm having too much fun, and need to back up and remind myself what I'm looking for. And since I've done the scene-cards-in-rubberband way, and scene-cards-on-cork-board way, and am looking for a new way... what is it I really want? Okay, something portable. Something I can stash in my bag and take with me. Although honestly I'm not sure why. But it seems right. And this time that's what I'm looking for. Well, look at it this way. Laptop=portable. So I'm thinking to keep everything portable. (Sorry, thinking out loud for a minute there.)

And then I posted about the Moleskine and Cynthia clued me in about the new storyboard Moleskine and --

I ordered it.

This has potential. It's not perfect, but its imperfections are different from the others. It's not that expensive. It's portable. However, you can't use index cards with it, and you lose the portability of index cards unless --

You use 2"x3" Post-Its!

Of course there are no rows. Maybe you can get the "rhythm" going in your head, something like, first eight pages -- Act One. Second eight pages, etc. And use a different color for the last scene card on each "row."

Except -- look what I just did. I could have done this with any moleskine -- any small notebook, for that matter.

Sigh.

This fiddle-farting-before-outlining is HARD WORK.

I haven't come to any conclusions. Using small Post-Its I could actually use any old folio....

I don't know. I have the Moleskine and it's really kind of cool, and I think I'll fool around with this for a while.

I wonder if the goal of this entire exercise is to make me so tired of trying to figure out a "system" that I just start writing the script out of desperation....

Oh yeah, once I get permission, I'll show you what somebody else did with the Snyder system, index cards and a project board!

---------
In related news, I finally found last year's Moleskin and am going to start up the list mentioned in the post I linked to near the beginning of this entry. And I did finish listening to Freddy and Fredericka so that will be my first entry for 2006. Whew!

14 Comments:

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Cynthia said...

Yeah, I figured out that ol' any moleskine woulda worked after I ordered 2 storyboard ones. But any ol' moleskine wouldn't be as cool as one officially titled STORYBOARD. Would it?

Post-Its, now there's an entire new universe. I have the STC beats labeled with STAR Post-Its and a neon pink ARROW Post-It pointing at the catalyst scene. My board's so vibrant it's almost animated.

Of course, what it isn't, is an actual screenplay. I caught my dearest staring at it the other day. That's right, honey. I'm working. I'm working.

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger pooks said...

So you're using the Moleskine and the board?

How?

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger pooks said...

So they duplicate each other -- the board and the moleskine. Hmm, that makes sense.

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger Cynthia said...

Yes, cuz theoretically, I can carry the board in its moleskine portable version wherever I go and thus work on the script at the drop of a hat or whenever the mood strikes.

Theoretically.

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger digger27 said...

pooks, I love your analog approach to creativity. I'm not really the creative type, per se, but I do love having my index cards and Moleskine available to plop my brain junk onto when I need them.

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger pooks said...

I had to ask somebody what "analog approach to creativity" meant. I'm such a doofus. But anyway -- thanks!

 
At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Pooks,

Non-analog, pure digital, fully portable: SuperNotecard (www.mindola.com). Got 4 x 10 on the screen right now.

Al

 
At 2:16 PM, Blogger pooks said...

I downloaded that trail, Al, and was annoyed that they use terms like "factors" and "categories" instead of characters, settings, etc. I felt like I'd have to relearn terminology just to use it, and that was frustrating.

I really am looking for a paper/physical solution, but I can also see how you could combine the moleskine (paper) with the digital (mindola). It's an interesting thought.

 
At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Rich@rileonardo.com said...

Have you tried using a photo album? they hold up to a 4x6 card or even a small stack of cards in several row/collum configs. I use this system for lots of organizing projects

 
At 7:04 PM, Blogger pooks said...

That's a great idea -- and there are so many different styles of albums.

 
At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Laura said...

I've been drooling over those card bleachers (and the folio to a lesser extent) -- too cute. But I don't have room for them on my desk either. It has occurred to me that one could use a bulletin board on the wall to storyboard. . . (it's just not portable, of course).

I just got the newest Levenger catalog on Saturday and they are offering 3 x 5 card folders -- teeny little folders just the right size for 3 x 5 cards.

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger pooks said...

It's crack. Crack, I tell you.

(Time to check the mailbox for my new catalog....)

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger Chet said...

I have the Levenger 3x5 card folders. I also have a Circa punch and rings. So what I did was I sliced up one of the folders, punched Circa holes in them and put in some rings and now I have a Circa 3x5 Circa notebook. I currently have Levenger 3x5 note cards in the notebook, but find them too thick. I need to cut up some 3x5 paper for the notebook. I'll post up some pictures later.

Chet Chin
Malaysia

 
At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

 

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