The Fifth Element | Writing Methods

I touched upon my writing process in my last video, where I had created an excel breakdown sheet of every chapter including setting, characters, plot, backstory, foreshadowing, etc... What I've done is printed this sheet out and checked off each row as I've written it. 

There are a lot of different writing methods. Yes, it's all based upon preference but the point of a writing method is to get your ideas flowing and to start actually writing. I don't believe in writer's block. Whenever I hear that word, I think back to 7th grade when a boy in my class didn't want to do an assignment and said he had "writer's block" and we all laughed. (I always had a soft spot for class clowns.) 

I love writing with no direction. Hence why my favorite quote is: 

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way" by E.L. Doctorow.

But—it is possible to get stuck. I didn't exactly get stuck but I realized my method, or lack thereof, wasn't going to help me in the long run. Therefore, I went back and created when I coined The Fifth Element method.

It's called The Fifth Element method because it reminds me of these scene: 

This method is pretty straightforward. It can be used for any type of writing or planning, even for creating a script for a cooking video (shout-out to my sister!) Imagine you're like these futuristic scientists recreating a body just by using a leftover hand. *I'll make up my own example as we go.

THE HAND is your idea

Ellie goes on a date with a friend.

THE SKELETON is your outline

Begin writing your skeleton. Don't stop. Don't think about making sentences pretty, just write as if you're ticking off boxes. 

Ellie walked down the street as fast as she could. She wanted to get to the bar before Dane. She wanted to be first and sit there while Dane walked in. When she got to the bar, it was crowded. She ordered a drink and sat with her body facing the door. 

go back and fill in THE MUSCLE TISSUE

You've got your first draft. It's not incredible but it's there and you know what's happening, so go back and add some more. 

Ellie sped down the street, legs moving so fast she was practically skipping. She wanted to get to the bar before Dane. If she got there first, she'd have the upper-hand. When she reached the bar, she did a quick scan of the crowded room but saw no familiar faces. Smirking to herself, she wiggled towards the bar and ordered a drink. A man offered her his seat and she took it, swerving the stool slightly so she could face the door and watch for Dane to walk in.

go back and fill in THE SKIN

The second draft is looking quite good but the skin will really make your story come to life. 

Ellie sped down the street, legs moving so fast that she had to hold her skirt to keep it from billowing and showing her bare skin. She wanted to get to the bar before Dane. If she got there first, she'd have the upper-hand. When she reached the bar, she did a quick scan of the crowded room. Most of the patrons were men in football jerseys celebrating the victory of their team and swaying side to side with pints of beer in their hands, ignoring the liquid splashing onto the wooden floor. Dane wasn't here yet. Smirking to herself, Ellie squeezed through to the bar and ordered a pint of beer. She made eye contact with the man beside her and, like a hypnosis, he got up from his seat and offered it to her. She took it willingly and swerved it slightly, resting her elbow on the bar top so she could face the door and see Dane when he walked in.

last but not least, THE ACCESSORIES

This would be like cutting the hair, applying make-up, clothes, and whatever else you'd like. I suppose this step would be if you were to publish your story. You'd find the best font and layout format, go back and make sure all the grammar and spelling is correct. Then, voila! You've created your own Leeloo. 


Stay tuned for future blog posts with writing examples and exercises to get yourself writing. Xx