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The Writing Machine

Blogging about the best articles, sites, and blog posts for Writers; on the Craft, Mind and Body, Tech, Tools, and all the other Paraphenalia.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Scarlet Pimpernel Finds

Found via The Human Flower Project:

their post on the flower behind the name, including some great pictures;

which led me to Rachel Perkins Art, and her artwork for a Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Scarlet Pimpernel;

as well as a site which sells CD copies of an old time radio series.

Posted to: books, scarlet pimpernel

Saturday, January 14, 2006

"Classic Story Elements"

From the May 2003 Meeting Notes
of the Scriptwriters Network: "Jeff Kitchen Spotlights Classic Story Elements."
Aristotle's "Poetics"

. . . a good strong dilemma (D), which builds to a crisis (C) and forces decision and action (D & A). This leads to a resolution (R) by the protagonist.

Kitchen defines dilemma as "two equally painful choices".

. . . The way in which the protagonist resolves the dilemma expresses the theme of the plot.

Sequence, Proposition, Plot

A plotting method where you work "backwards from an effect (your ending) to its cause", and then back to the cause of that, and so on until you get to the beginning.
"The trick is to only ask what the cause of an effect is, not what comes before it."
Should be "applied first to the whole script, then to each act, then to each sequence, and then to each scene."

Also mentions William Thompson Price, who might be a subject for later research. And Polti's 36 Dramatic Situations.

Posted to: plotting, polti

Thursday, January 12, 2006

"Notebooks" for PC

Alison Kent had a recent post asking for Windows programs that are like Circus Ponies Notebook, which is an Apple program. I made the following comment, posted here because it's relevant to the focus of my blog. Alison writes romance novels and often posts on craft and process. Her blog is one of my regular reads.
Hi Alison!

Check out these programs:


The 60-day trial can be downloaded here: http://www.microsoft.com/office/onenote/prodinfo/trialoffer.mspx


These are very notebook or binder-like. OneNote is a Microsoft product, and so works really well with Word and Outlook etc. I've tried both of these, albeit a while ago. I liked them a lot. I won't go into why I didn't keep using either of them here, but if you want to know more, just let me know.

Maybe also:

Franklin's Tablet Planner

and PlanPlus

I haven't tried either of these, and they seem more geared towards being a planner, but include binder like features.

As Flo said above, Lotus Organizer might be a good option. It's currently at version 6.1. Their webpage is useless. If you search for "Lotus Organizer" with Google Images, you'll find pictures, but mostly of the planner section.
I used version 4, along with the rest of the Smart Suite many years ago. WordPro was my main word processor. I can't say why I stopped using them, except that I like trying out new stuff and so just drifted away. In fact, just this week I reinstalled the SmartSuite to try it out again, and am remembering why I liked it so much.

A few notes on Organizer; the notebook pages in v.4 won't take pictures, but support links to files and the internet as well as internal links between notebook pages. You can assign categories to each page, which might let you organise things nicely, and the pages can be sorted by date, title, category, and page number. You can assign pages as being the start of a "chapter", and when sorted by page number, they appear in bold.

This page: (link) has pictures of v.4, including notepad pages.
And I've uploaded an image of the Notepad contents page here.

I'm about to make the switch from a PC to a Mac, and so probably won't be needing SmartSuite anymore. If you wanted to try it out, and couldn't find it anywhere else, I'd be happy to try and get it to you. I'm in Australia, though, and I have no idea what it would cost to ship.

Hope this helps.