How to build a fictional world

In the set-up of your story, you have to determine the ‘rules of the universe’. Whether is it a fantasy movie or a thriller novel. Continue reading “How to build a fictional world”

Writing tip | Bullet Journal: how to order creative chaotic notes

One thing I can’t life without is my notebook.

At the most unexpected moments, I get inspired for writing stories. Something that touches me, something I see, smell, read or hear. And I personally make lists of everything… everything! Groceries, beautiful names for characters, wish lists and of course my own bucket list.

How to keep track of all this inspiration, thoughts and ideas without collecting hundreds of post-its, torn pieces of paper and ideas lying all around your desk? A dear friend of mine introduced me to a really nice system to organize all my notes: bullet journaling by Ryder Carroll.

“It’s an analog system for the digital age that will help you organize the present, record the past, and plan the future,” – Ryder Carroll

All you need for bullet journaling is a paper notebook to keep track of notes, to-do lists, inspirational quotes, delicious recipes, calendar items, lists of must-see movies or ideas for writing. Buy yourself the most awesome notebook you can find. At the moment I’m using a notebook from The Big Bang Theory merchandise with dr. Sheldon Cooper’s Friendship Algorithm.


Then, on the first page you create an index-page. You give the following pages numbers and add a title to everything you write down. These titles you write down on the index page with the corresponding page numbers to know what’s on each page! Furthermore, you can use the following signs:

 Very-Basic-Checked-checkbox-icon A tickbox for things to-do or check lists

big-black-dot1 Mark notes with a black bullet point

 cirkel Mark happenings or events with an open bullet point

download To accentuate something, place a star in front of it

When something isn’t relevant anymore… just cross it!

By adding these markings, your different notes will be more easy to identify.

The bullet journal system is quick, clear and you don’t need post-its or all those apps on your phone or tablet. I find it a nice way to bring some order in my creative chaos. Just a little tip, I hope you like it.



Weta Workshop does creative development, publishing, weapons, props, creatures, make-up, miniatures, public art, merchandise for many of my favorite films, such as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Last Samurai, Dracula Untold and Avatar. Weta Workshop invites people to share their story:
This is my Weta story.

Dear Weta,


It all began thirteen years ago, when my mother took me to the cinema to see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. That moment changed my life. This was the beginning of the journey… my life’s journey.

I immediately fell in love with the on-screen Middle-earth that could not have existed without Weta. Soon after, I found something that I loved maybe even more: the appendices on the extended dvd’s of The Lord of the Rings. This was the first time I saw how movies were made, how all the departments work together to create this on-screen world: the sets, the costumes, the props, the weapons, all the designs and the effecs. This transparency about filmmaking inspired me to study Film Studies at the University of Amsterdam. I graduated at the university with a Master’s thesis about the adaptation of The Hobbit. You also inspired me to make my own costumes (how to make my own chainmaille), how to decorate my house, how I wanted to look (yes, the children in my class found the Legolas braids a bit weird but that didn’t matter to me). You inspired me how to live my life.


My journey went even further from home than I have ever been. I entered The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest and a dream came true when I actually was one the winners! I got the chance to visit New Zealand, the real Middle-earth! My number two memories of this journey of a lifetime are visiting Hobbiton and visiting you, Weta Workshop in Wellington. Meeting some of the artists like David Falconer, Gino Acevedo, Peter Lyon and of course sir Richard Taylor (and he liked my chainmail necklace!) was an absolute highlight I will never forget. To meet the persons that inspired me for who I want to become since the moment I first saw Middle-earth, thirteen years ago, is something I will treasure all my life.


Thank you for giving my life’s journey a purpose: to become a screenwriter and write stories to be brought alive on-screen. To be creative and make cool stuff. And hopefully to meet you again in New Zealand! Thank you Weta for your creativity, beautiful movies, inspiration and for bringing stories to life!


At your service,


Elaine Fleur
The Netherlands