Tag Archives: Screenwriting

Scribosphere Carnival #5 – Mythbusters

woman eating keyboard

The Scribosphere Carnival is a weekly discussion from a variety of screenwriting blogs around a rotating theme.

Emily Blake over at Bamboo Killers has posted this week’s Scribosphere Carnival topic which is MYTHBUSTERS.

In today’s Screenwriter Carnival, I’m challenging my cohorts to think of one screenwriting myth they would love to correct.

Dispelling myths is important for something like screenwriting, where it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the romanticism and ideals of the craft. Last week’s post covered the idea of being realistic about screenwriting as a whole, and this week I want to carry that thought further by dispelling what I think is a rather problematic myth:

WRITING IS A FEELING

Let me elaborate.

There’s the notion that we as writers are just “switched on.” We are always in tune with our muses and all we need to do is just sit down in front of Final Draft (or Scrivener or Celtx or Slugline or Highland) and BAM…off we go! Writing is a religious experience and we’re not truly writers if we don’t feel it.

Right?

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Scribosphere Carnival #4 – Advice

Beyond Two Souls Ellen

The Scribosphere Carnival is a weekly discussion from a variety of screenwriting blogs around a rotating theme.

Emily Blake over at Bamboo Killers has posted this week’s Scribosphere Carnival topic which is ADVICE.

The topic for this week’s Scribosphere Carnival is one I’m not entirely prepared for in the grand scheme of things. Compared to the others, I’m the new guy. I’m greenhorn. I’m “aspiring.” Emily’s post about what to do with your screenplay is pretty killer and you can bet I’ve taken a lot of that to heart. Michael’s follow-up is also pretty great and dispenses the important advice of “keep writing!”

So, what’s next on the advice checklist?

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Scribosphere Carnival #3 – Criticism

Prometheus Smiles

The Scribosphere Carnival is a weekly discussion from a variety of screenwriting blogs around a rotating theme.

Michael Patrick Sullivan over at Red Right Hand has posted this week’s Scribosphere Carnival topic which is CRITICISM.

This week’s Scribosphere topic is how we each take criticism, or how we don’t, who do we seek out to provide it, and what do we do with it once we have it, how we give it, or, you know…whatever.

Criticism.

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Scribosphere Carnival #3 – Submit Your Ideas

Loki Thumbs Up

Hey guys, don’t forget that the Scribosphere Carnival is still ongoing and we’re still talking about our workflow. If you haven’t had a chance to submit your post for this week, you have about a day or two before we move on to the next topic. Per the rules, I get to pick the topic for the following week, so make the decision tough!

Let’s do this!

Image of Loki used for no reason, but hey, he’s quite the dapper chap!

Scribosphere Carnival #2 – Workflow

keyboard

The Scribosphere Carnival is a weekly discussion from a variety of screenwriting blogs around a rotating theme.

I’ve never been good at introductory paragraphs, so let’s get through this as fast as we can. Shawna over at Shouting Into The Wind created a new blog series to bring a bunch of us writerly types together to discuss the things that interest us as screenwriters. In that same post she set up the guidelines for the first week’s topic as well as how we would go about handling each new week. As it turns out, I was picked for this week’s topic:

WORKFLOW – Everybody has one, and none are the same. Inspired by a post from John August (referencing THIS SITE), you should explain where and when you write, what hardware you use, what software you use, and what you would change about how you write. Have at it!

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Scribosphere Carnival #1 – Time Capsule

All Those Screenplays

The Scribosphere Carnival is a weekly discussion from a variety of screenwriting blogs around a rotating theme.

Shawna at Shouting into the Wind has posted this week’s Scribosphere Carnival topic which is TIME CAPSULE.

This topic is actually a 3-parter. First, recount your journey in screenwriting up to this point in time. Second, tell us where you are on your journey now. Finally, for the really fun, creative part — blog as if it is one year from today. What has the past year of your journey been like? What has changed? Be as realistic or not as you like — it’s your time capsule! One year from now, we will revisit our time capsules to see how we did with our predictions… Your post can be as long or as short as you like — the most important thing is to have fun with it!

Here we go:

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A Post About Specificity, Specifically

Been learning a lot as I trudge along in my screenwriting career. I say “trudge” because it’s a slow climb. I’m not writing the big blockbusters, nor am I cashing those fat checks. I’m not even stacking that coin. What I am doing is writing smaller shows for colleagues and developing my voice as a screenwriter. I’m trying things out to see what works and what doesn’t work. In screenwriting terms: total n00b. One of the major things this n00b has discovered is that specificity is important. No, seriously. I mean it. IMPORTANT in all-caps, bolded, and underlined. May seem like this is a no-brainer, and it kind of is a no-brainer except for the fact that the “generic stuff” still makes its way out into the hands of readers, execs, and even two prolific screenwriting podcasters. A recent episode of theirs made me think about specificity and how to get back into the mindset of putting things on the page boldly and with purpose.

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Resolutions for the New Year


As you read this I’ll be on the road toward California once again, ending my luxurious holiday vacation. I had a lot of fun with the family and I miss them already. Thanks to a rather rocking last few months of 2010, I’m pretty stoked for what’s in store in the new year. Here are some goals I’ve set for myself, separated by topic. YAY LISTS!

Writing and Projects

-Complete the two scripts I have in early draft stage.

-Write at least 3 more scripts this year.

-Get all current web series ideas through the writing stage.

-Write 3 short films and shop them to Columbia College friends.

-Write Sci-Fi novel I had intended for NaNo.

-Keep track of every day that I write in a cool excel spreadsheet, and try to work my way up to writing something every day.

-Start Hilarious Henry back up, streamline that whole ish.

-Write a footnote into my blog for no other reason than amusement and self-deprecation.

-Regularly comment on writer/screenwriter blogs.

Personal Stuff

-Get a better job, one that I can stand as well as one that pays more than my current place of employment.

-Go on at least one road trip.

-Be able to pay off at least 1 of my loans.

-Pay off my credit card completely.

-See roughly double the films I saw in 2010 and use flickchart to keep track of them.

-Play through at least 5 more video games this year.

-Expand my social circle some and find someone else who writes.*

—-

*This is actually a tougher one than it sounds because I haven’t met a writer in person whose company I’ve enjoyed. This could be why I don’t have many friends.

What Does NaNoWriMo Do For You?

As you may or may not know, November is National November Write Month. Simply put, people from all walks of life sit in front of their computers for thirty days and write upward of 50,000 words. Some people write memoirs and some people write sci-fi epics, while others write about their exploits in college. Recently, there was a post from Salon laying down some serious NaNoWriMo hate. I’m not sure I agreed with the logic the author employed, but they brought up two interesting points: 1) These writers don’t spend enough time reading, and 2) Events for writers are “largely unnecessary.” It’s that second point that has me the most intrigued.

When I participated last year, I wrote a cathartic piece about life after college and dealing with post-graduation depression. The whole thing was a meandering mess, wobbling back and forth between fact and fiction like a kid learning to ride bicycle. I finished my story within a day of NaNo ending, energized by the daily ritual of writing I had created and the inspiration that ritual had awakened.

And then I didn’t write anything until the following spring.

Are writing events really necessary? Do we need these month long fests to write? At best these binge-writing sessions stir the creative juices around a bit, only to have them simmer and then congeal until the following year. It’s a cycle of inspiration and determination, followed by months of shame and disappointment. How is that helpful to the writing lifestyle?

I decided to try something different this year. Instead of participating in NaNo, I would try and establish a stable writing routine for myself that I would follow on a weekly basis and that would be toward some kind of end (as in writing a blog series or trying to get a spec script ready for pitching). While it hasn’t gotten me writing every day of the week like I had hoped it would, it’s made me prioritize my writing each week and set deadlines for myself. These deadlines have yielded much stronger results than waiting for one writing event after the other.

But these are just the thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head like those awesome bouncy-balls you can get at truck stops for a quarter. What do you think? Are writing events like NaNoWriMo necessary? Do they do anything for you? What do you get from this sort of event?

On Those Stupid Outline Thingies

5.1 GB left of 8.7 GB. I’ve been sitting at my computer for a little bit now, staring at the progress bar in the hopes that it will magically move faster and faster in the ensuing moments. Since I’ve been doing this for a bit now (like I just said), it’s probably safe to assume that it’s going to take even longer to finish. So while the download is doing it’s thing and pissing me off, I figured I would jot down some thoughts in a stream of conscious manner to break the monotony of my latest string of “well-organized” posts.

In short, I want to talk about outlines.

I hate outlines. I hate writing outlines and I hate thinking about them. I come from a method of writing that involves turning on the writing program of choice and just vomiting as many words out as I can, hoping to touch upon a compelling narrative or two in the process. I like saving that organization thing for the second draft, where I have to put thought into stuff like theme or why making the side character a cat instead of a man is hilarious. No, really. It’s funny as hell.

But lately I’ve started to change how I see the writing process. Call it a writer’s puberty, if you will. Suddenly, I find that I can’t write anything unless it’s got a preset structure going in. Something that would have simply been a sit-and-write before has now become an exercise in meticulous planning. The change happened with the last script I wrote (which I have YET to revise). I decided to do things different from my usual method and write out an outline to focus my writing and get things done in a shorter period of time.

Well, it worked. In fact, it worked so great that I got it in my brain that outlining was a good thing. Now I can’t write any kind of story without drafting up a roadmap of all the things that need to happen in the story. The problem here is that I’m still the person from before who needs to jump right in and start hammering on the keyboard like there’s no tomorrow. I still need that freedom to take the story anywhere and develop the characters as I go along.

4.5 GB left.

God, I really hate outlines. I should probably finish the one I’ve started for my horror film.