Two times interesting

The first link is to a blog post by Erik Bork (Flying Wrestler) entitled “Hollywood Will Find You”. Basically, if your idea and script craft is good enough then the right people will find you. Whilst it doesn’t make the task of writing any easy (potentially harder, in fact), I think this is an absolute truth. The link is:

https://www.flyingwrestler.com/2018/06/hollywood-will-find-you/

The second link is to a podcast, written and presented by Paul Bassett Davies – The Writer Type. So much fun and so many truths unveiled. Here’s the link, for your listening pleasure:

http://www.thewritertype.com/podcast.html

 

Action lines – back to basics.

Reading a short screenplay I wrote a few years ago, what’s holding it back is the way I’ve written its action lines. So, back to basics – an action line check list.

Part one, the English lesson:

  • Screenplays are written in present tense.
  • Try not to use as, while, are, then or is.
  • Avoid verbs ending in “ing“.
  • Use adverbs sparingly.

Part two, the content lesson:

  • Only write what you can see or hear.
  • Never give camera directions or write “we see…”.

Part three, the specific lesson:

  • Each action paragraph should be 3 lines or less.
  • Make each action line a single visual direction.

Any thoughts on part one and two or additions to part three, please pass them on!

Scrivener – a shout out for outlining

I’ve found a great piece of inexpensive software that has revolutionised the way I outline my writings. It’s called Scrivener and if you haven’t heard of it before read on…

Scrivener is designed for all kinds of writers who write all kinds of things. The one thing it’s great at enabling is the simple and efficient organisation of longer, more complex writing works.

You can download a demo here and there are plenty of online tutorials including YouTube ones which I found far more useful than books or even the introductory tutorial. That is, once I’d defined exactly what I wanted out of the software.

I use Fade In to actually write scripts. It’s amazing, dedicated and easy to use – and above all, I find, perfect for the actual act of putting scenes, action lines and dialogue down on a page.

Where I was struggling was in the process that generally comes before script writing – outlining. In fact, outlining for me has always been a nightmare. At best I’d be surrounded by a mess of paper and notes. At worst I’d just try and write a script straight out.

Both methods resulted in a pickle because, to be honest, my head is not particularly organised at the best of times.

Scrivener has a system of files and folders plus a corkboard feature that once mastered makes the outlining process a breeze. More importantly, having put several of my longer scripts through it, it shows up plot and character weaknesses and easily enables elements of a story to be moved, interchanged and added to or subtracted from.

It’s changed the way I write for the better and, if you give it a go, you may find the same thing too.

Oh, and a tip of sorts. I don’t bother with the templates Scrivener offers, I just use a blank document and build up the outline from there. And, I’ve found, there’s no need to learn everything about Scrivener. Just focus on the bits you need and the learning curve won’t feel like climbing Everest.

Scrivener for outlining, Fade In for writing. A perfect combination. Could it work for you?