13. The Actual, Actual Writing

Well, look, it’s me. You know what I’m going to say.

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 3.54.21 pm

Here’s the first thing to do.

Leave the computer.

Sit yourself down, somewhere next to a big rubbish bin.

Look at all the notes and words and clues you have written or stuck onto the plan. Start with the first sentence.

You might be able to keep some of what is already written on the plan.

If you don’t like the words you used, or if they are just odd words and notes, you will now try to write the idea in a sentence.

But first you remind yourself of the most important fact everyone has to learn about writing.

You can’t write and criticise at the same time.

Just write something. Yes, you need to write a sentence now, but …

You won’t care if it is a bad sentence.


DID I MENTION? What you need to do at this point is relax.

Look at your  BIG EMPTY RUBBISH BIN.     trash-can-23653_1280

You are probably going to throw this sentence away.

Write: Bolt is furry and a realistic dog because he charges everywhere but Grommit is a silly dog not real because he sits with his big googly eyes.

Keep the words ‘furry’ and ‘realistic’ and ‘sits’. Throw the rest away.

Write: Bolt is more realistic because he runs around

Don’t stop. Just keep writing. You are finding your words.

Write: Bolt is a more realistic dog because he is impulsive and charges around thinking only about what he wants and never making a plan. Grommit just sits there and walks slowly.

Cross that last bit out. Put a circle around the word ‘impulsive’, because you are pleased with it. Keep the first sentence. Do some more.

Write :  Grommit is shown as thoughtful. He sits still and walks slowly and plans carefully. This is less like the behaviour of a real dog.

Do you see what I’m saying? You can’t write and criticise at the same time. Just write something. Notice what’s wrong with it. Throw it away and write something better.

Yes, you think that’s the slow way of doing it.

But the other way just goes nowhere at all.

It is almost impossible to write something brilliant the first time, and trying to do that just jams you up.


That is true for everyone.

This method, the rubbish bin method, is like the walking, doodling, staring-at-a-fire method for having ideas. It’s not only nicer, it turns out to be faster.

Now do this with every box on the plan.

Evidence section: The jumpy running music makes him look excited but it changes all the time because this is what his feelings do.

The music in the Bolt movie is fast and bright and changes constantly. It emphasises the fact that Bolt is impulsive and excitable.

And so on.

And when you get to the end …

Go to the Conclusion plan and the box for sentence 1  and write another sentence that is an answer to the overall question. Make sure is NOT EXACTLY THE SAME as the  the sentence in the Introduction. But it will be quite like it.

Then go to the last box of the conclusion paragraph. 




Have an idea of your own. Find that BIG THOUGHT  that has been sneaking up on you while you have been doing all this work.

I don’t think stop motion animation is as exciting as ordinary animation. It’s a bit stiff.

I think animation can capture any natural movement and any emotion and it has become the most amazing art form of the twenty-first century.

Go on. Go for it. Speak your mind. You’ve earned it.


Oh, and one more thing.

Thanks to these people for the images

Cover of sheet music for the 1905 song “I Don’t Care” By William or Frederick Starmer (Perfessorbill.com) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/83/I_Dont_Care_%28cover%29.jpg%5BPublic domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Leonid Pasternak – The Passion of creation” by Leonid Pasternak – http://www.art-in-exile.com/forums/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=14639. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leonid_Pasternak_-_The_Passion_of_creation.jpg

“Nijinsky Scheherezade” 1910 Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaslav_Nijinsky



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