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The Writer's Toolkit:
Exercises, Techniques and Ideas for Playwrights and Screenwriters

Perfect for playwrights and screenwriters of all levels of experience, The Writer's Toolkit will equip you with everything required to kickstart your creativity, develop your craft, and make your writing the very best that it can be.

Written by an experienced playwright, screenwriter and producer, this essential book is packed with almost two hundred practical exercises, techniques and ideas for every part of your process, designed to be used either solo or in a group. It includes:

  • Writing warm-ups to focus your mind and get your creative muscles in gear

  • Dozens of exercises to strengthen fundamental elements of your writing such as developing characters, improving dialogue, layering in subtext, creating a strong setting and constructing a compelling plot

  • Immersive-writing techniques to lift the world of your script off the page and allow you to shape it more effectively

  • A blueprint for writing a ten-minute play - a great way to practise your craft, explore a new idea and add to your portfolio

  • A Submission Surgery with exercises and pointers so you can review and fine-tune your completed work before sending it out

  • 101 quick-fire writing prompts to help you warm up, take a break from your current project, or just keep you feeling productive


Also included are mindful meditations to use at the beginning and end of your writing sessions, to help you relax, boost your productivity and maximise your creative output.

Whatever you need as a writer - whether that's to crack a problem in your current script, develop ideas for future projects, build up your skills and experience, or bust through writer's block - this book will give you the right tools for the job. So get writing!


Published by Nick Hern Books, London, 2020
ISBN 9781848428638

Praise for The Writer's Toolkit

‘A generous and inventive book, packed full of the creativity it is bound to inspire’

- Anna Jordan, playwright and screenwriter

(Succession, Killing Eve, Yen)

‘An enthusiastic, encouraging guide with endless tips to make every stage of the writing process not only doable but enjoyable too’

- Diane Samuels, playwright and author

(Kindertransport, Poppy+George)


'I wish I had a book as smart, comprehensive and engaging as this one when I started out as a screenwriter. This book is filled with so much great advice, guidance and practical applications for both aspiring and experienced writers. Highly recommended, especially for anyone needing inspiration or a jumpstart to achieving their writing dreams.'
- Gary Goldstein, screenwriter, playwright and author

(Hitched for the Holidays, Politics of Love)


'It's rare when a book of this kind appears and lives up to the name: The Writer's Toolkit. Yes, Paul has written a superb guide to help writers with easy to apply tools that help with the process of the craft. This is not just a book you'll read once. You will find yourself going back to the tools Paul uses to help keep his writing sharp and break through the many hurdles writers face with the process. Beginner or veteran writers alike will benefit from these masterful tools. Read the book, use the tools, keep writing and thrive!'
- Mark Sanderson, screenwriter and author

(Suburban Swingers Club, I'll Remember April)

'A goldmine, honest and down-to-earth… Kalburgi manages to achieve more than a theoretical manual on the art of scriptwriting; he invigorates his creatives, cheers them on, and urges them to dust off their notebooks and start scribbling, stirring his reader's imagination with well-calibrated pointers.'
- Broadway World

'There are many themes that will be of value… often using practical illustrations, the author talks through techniques that will help to develop what should be a fully rounded play, film or TV script. Perhaps the strongest part of the book, The Submission Surgery, [helps] writers to spot weaknesses in drafts and develop the best work possible. Finally, there are no fewer than 101 writing prompts, little games that writers can play as a means of helping themselves to develop skills or get in the mood for the real thing.'
- British Theatre Guide

'Very practical. A worthwhile book for anyone wanting to tackle a play or film script.'
Ink Pellet - The arts magazine for teachers

Available in paperback and e-book wherever books are sold.

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