The Box

One of my favourite writing techniques is The Box.

You use The Box when you’ve figured out the story, either in part or in full and you’re satisfied it works.

What you do is take that working piece and lock it away. Imagine it doesn’t exist and try to think up a different way of telling the story.

Not better, just different.

You’re not changing the story you’ve got, not adding to it, not muddying the waters with conflicting ideas. That working idea is totally separate and not to be interfered with … now, what else can you think of?

Sometimes you can’t think of any other way – that’s when you know it works.

Sometimes you think of a better way – put that idea in a separate box and try again.

Sometimes you think of a way which is merely different – it works equally well, but has no more merit than the first one.

The beauty of The Box is you win every way. Occasionally you can think of a way so diametrically opposed to the original version that it becomes a film in and of itself.

By the way, this is a mental box, not a real one. Don’t put your ideas in a real box because that’s just mental.

Choose to read that sentence anyway you wish.

The point is we sometimes get so focussed on our initial ideas we fiddle with them instead of making bold choices. Putting the idea in The Box allows you to mentally preserve it and try a completely different approach – the results of which are often surprising.

Sometimes you need to think outside the box. Sometimes the only way to do that is to lock your current thoughts inside.

This is just a quick post because I’m supposed to be doing something else.

But I’m not.

But I’m going to.


Categories: My Way | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “The Box

  1. Robin

    That’s a really good idea. I usually get so tangled up with possibilities and permutations, but this sounds like it would work a treat for me. Thank you!

  2. Phill, super idea. Clear method for rethinking a story. You say it so well. 😉

  3. Pingback: Finding inspiration from last year and everywhere « Writing for Performance Group

  4. I love this idea, its something which allows something truly unique to come from exhisting brilliance

  5. Pingback: 2012 | The Jobbing Scriptwriter

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