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Writing Organization
by Michael Bard
Michael Bard -- all rights reserved

... Sly.

Yes Sly.

YES Sly.

I will Sly.

Yes, I have your script Sly.

Don't worry, they'll know the truth this time Sly.

Sly...!

[sigh] Yes Sly.

Uh-hum.

This bimonth the topic is writing organization. All over the place there are discussions about character development, plot, hooks, endings, climaxes, and all kinds of important stuff. But no-where have I seen a discussion of the basic organization.

What do I mean by organization? I mean how one actually writes. Not the act of typing (or writing or printing), or the method of creation, but how one makes sure that a coherent thing gets recorded. There are three ways that I know of-

Sly! It's what YOUR script says! Just let me read it. Please?

Good.

Uh-hum.

The first method is what I'm going to call 'off the cuff'. What I mean by this is just putting words down and letting the story fall as it may.

Help! I'm Sly's prisoner! Let me-

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Please ignore the previous. Bard is reading Sly's words of his own free will, as he has ALWAYS done. Everything Bard has ever written is actually written by Sly. We now return you to this issue's Bardlings.

The 'off the cuff' method works well for shorter stories, but tends to cause problems in long stories as one forgets where one is going, one wanders around a lot, and often one never puts down a coherent story. I use this for my shorter works, and for things like this, but for longer things I avoid this method.

The second method I'm going to call 'sequential scripted'. What I mean by this is that one works out a script or outline of a story, and then writes it sequentially from beginning to end. I use this method for longer works, except where the Cubist component of Sly's mind is involved in which case the Bard component of Sly's mind bows to Cubist's will and goes with the third method.

Writers should be aware that the 'sequential scripted' method does NOT require one to follow the script religiously, no matter how big a whip Sly use-

OW!

Please ignore the previous. Sly never uses physical force or persuasion, especially in regards to items written by Sly, such as this editorial. We now return you to this issue's Bardlings.

In other words, if whilst writing one thinks up a neat idea that requires a change in the plot, then write what one thinks is correct and change the script. The script is simply a tool, not a cage, like-

OW! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Please ignore the above screams of pain. Sly does not force components of his highly organized mind to do things against their will. In fact, components of Sly's mind never revolt. We now return you to this issue's Bardlings.

The third method I'm going to call 'scatter-brained script'. What I mean by this is that one has a script or outline, but one writes whatever chunk one feels like in any order what-so-ever. One might write the conclusion first, than a scene with the main character's sister from the second chapter, then an anecdote that is told by a secondary character in chapter 12, and then...

You get the idea.

Cubist is a strong proponent of the 'scatter-brained script' method, as is S-

OOOOOOOW! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Please ignore the above screams of pain. As Cubist is simply a component of Sly's ego, Cubist obey's Sly's organized mental processes and writes as Sly wishes. We now return you to this issue's Bardlings.

There you have it. Three methods, all work, though the 'sequential script' is infinitely superior to the rest.

And remember, resistance is futile. Sly controls everything. You have been assimilated. Have a nice day.

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