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Home » Archives » February 2007 » Shuffling the Cards
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02/15/2007: Shuffling the Cards

How do you break your stories at home? Do you write out the content and order of the scenes on a whiteboard, in a notebook, or on index cards? For years and years I worked on shows with whiteboards in the writers' rooms. But recently I've found myself in rooms with corkboards and cards. And I have to say I'm starting to get it. The ability to move scenes around effortlessly... well, say, that's not bad.

But when I'm not in a room with other writers, if I'm breaking the story for a pilot script, for example, I just plot it out on sheets of notebook paper. Unlike a whiteboard, it's totally portable. My notebook has accompanied me into every restaurant in town. And although you can take your stack of cards with you anywhere, you then can't see the whole episode at a glance.

Sure, sometimes I have to rewrite the whole thing because I'm making changes and the page is filling with arrows and scribbles, but the process of rewriting it is actually one of the steps in the process that I find most productive. Rewriting the descriptions of scenes is one of the best ways for me to start to *see* them.

Ultimately, do whatever works for you. Don't get married to any one method because it's what your teacher, friend or writing idol does.

Lunch: goat cheese salad


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February 2007

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