1. A story to tell. (Can often be found in the shower or in the park.)
2. Storyboard or outline that goes all the way to the end. (Storyboards are more fun.)
3. The right characters for the right part. (interview, interview)
4. Protagonist. (low fat, sugar free, slightly tainted and has one wart.)
5. Antagonist. (heavy explanation for the heavy)
6. Number of characters. (Eliminate deadheads or transfuse multiples into singles)
7. Decide on POV.
8. Planning and balance for any change of POV. (space/***/space)
9. Structure based on Milieu, Idea, Character or Event. (Decide NOW)
10. Where and when to sew in backstory. (Baste stitch & use thin threads)
11. Background. (subtle, but vital. First clue placed in the beginning.)
13. 5 W’s.
14. Dialogue minimum. Never at the beginning. DO NOT cheat too much.
15. Sequence: Action/Reaction/Internalization.
Author’s Note: Confused by this post? Can’t make head nor tails of it? I’m not surprised. This entry represents an actual cheat sheet pinned to my office wall. I consider it to be the most important one, and it’s the only one that has never, never been covered up by something else. I have blogged about some of these items, but not all. It has always been my dream to organize my notes in some way, but like all scribbles they seldom make sense to anybody else. I can’t file them in a drawer, because with me out-of-sight is out-of-mind. Visitors to my humble abode are often stunned by my crazy wallpaper. If I could post them to my blog, I might not look so eccentric to company. Whahah! Some days I care; some days I don’t. On the other hand if I do post them to my blog, as is, then you will think I’ve dropped my cookies.