Teaching Creative Outlining at Conpulsion 2014

Teaching Creative Outlining

Teaching Creative Outlining

When I mentioned to my sword-buddy Tiggs that I was writing up my creative process her eyes lit up. “You must come and teach it at Conpulsion.”

Conpulsion, if you have just tuned in, is Edinburgh’s yearly gaming convention run by GEAS, the University Roleplaying Society. I’ve taught Medieval History, I teach Medieval swordfighting, but up until last weekend I had not taught writing.

True, I have the credentials. Though I am a new professional, I live off my franchise writing and wrote three books last year, all of which my publishers published.

However, my writing process is woolly and iterative, really a collection of tools which I rummage through rather than an actual linear process. This is a good way to write–I never lose the magic or the buzz. However it’s easier to explain on paper–hence the forthcoming ebook–than in person. Harder still to teach it to a class!

Coffee with writer and teacher Gavin Inglis helped me plan the class itself (god I love Edinburgh, it’s like one big convention!). However that left the practical issue of how to show diagramming and outlining in progress. Tiggs and I got around this with a projector and old-fashioned pad thingy. I used the pad for drawing conflict diagrams and the projector for typing out outlines and story questions.

The class worked out fine. I demonstrated some techniques using shout-outs from the other guys then set them to doing their own diagrams etc. At the end we played a kind of verbal consequences in order to demonstrate a good way of writing text quickly.

Some stuff worked better than others and two hours isn’t really long enough to teach six tools. Perhaps someday I’ll teach a series of classes. In the meantime, there’s my book which I hope to get out early next week…

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Posted in Storyteller Tools
2 comments on “Teaching Creative Outlining at Conpulsion 2014
  1. Brian Turner says:

    Just read your book, “Storyteller Tools” and really enjoyed it – loved the way you look at story structure and conflict.

    Of course, you do realise that you’re going to get inundated with requests for editing services now?

    Let me know when you open the doors. 😀

  2. mharoldpage says:

    Erk? Editing services? Hadn’t considered that! I’m certainly open to almost all paying gigs. However, I am the world’s worst copyeditor, that’s what my friend Amy is for.

    I am so glad you liked my book.

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