Back-To-Basics Screenwriting With SnappyBack-to-Basics Screenwriting With Snappy
(And Why The Biz Might Not Be For You)
Fully Formatted Article: http://fav.me/d5erlbh
So ya wanna write a screenplay. Maybe you’re bored with 180,000 word novels, but you still have a full-length story to tell. Maybe you watched a shitty movie last weekend and thought, I could have written that ten million times better. Maybe you heard that every waiter, barista, and pole-dancer in Hollywood has a screenplay under their belt – and so why don’t you?
So that’s your first thought. Your second thought is – I’ve already been writing for years. I’ve got English degrees up the wazoo and my use of epic metaphors has totally made my professor cream her pants on a regular basis. So why the fuck do I need to go to “film school?” Isn’t that just for hacks anyway?
Well, yes – and no. But that isn’t what this article is about. I’m here to tell you, okay, maybe yo
Please Pants Responsibly (Paper Notebooks FTW)Please Pants Responsibly (Paper Notebooks FTW)2 years ago in Personal More Like This
There are two ways to write a novel. Plotting (you make an outline, a plan, a roadmap if you will, and then you sit down and write it) and pantsing (you write "by the seat of your pants, throwing caution to the wind). So when I get asked if I'm a plotter or a pantser, I'm all like er, uh, hold on, let me? Pantser? I think? But I kind of, um, do planny things?
And it gets kind of awkward because in these inarticulate moments I have managed to confuse everyone including myself. And probably spilled a drink.
In recent discussions, however, I've had a bit of a revelation, silly as it is. I've realized that I -- like many writers -- am a plotter/pantser hybrid. And perhaps what I'm doing is something we could call Pantsing Responsibly. And, maybe, just maybe, I could share some of my responsible pantsing tips with other writers. Starting with paper notebooks.
Anyone can find a notebook. If there isn't alread
PE Prose Basics: Revise and EditProse Basics Week is winding down now and hopefully you've learned a lot from the brilliant past articles. But, there's more to writing than just getting that first draft done, isn't there? That's where the next big crucial step comes in: revision.PE Prose Basics: Revise and Edit2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
The Art of Revising:
Revision is such a huge topic to cover, especially since there are many ways to go about it. You can do self-edits, which always are a good first step, or you can get outside revisions from peers. Both are good ideas to really get your work to be top notch. But, the big thing to remember is that there's more to just editing your work than cleaning up a few spelling and grammar mistakes. Revising also includes corrections to sentence flow, scenes, and sometimes overall plot. So, before we jump into some ways to edit, here are a few different terms of methods of editing that may be handy to know-- especially if you're asking a peer to help you with revisions.
Prose Basics: What is Voice, Anyway?At this point, you've all had awesomesauce articles on word choice, varying sentences, dialect, and dialogue. Which is great, because it cuts my job down to five minutes of nattering on about how you bring all these elements together to create that elusive thing people always go on about: VOICE.Prose Basics: What is Voice, Anyway?2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
Voice is the personality of the book.
You know that thing about avoiding cliché except every single plotline ever has been done and has the TVTropes article to prove it and OH GODS WHY?!?!
Voice solves 97% of that. It lends originality to your story by tossing a filter over the whole thing. 'The Shining' needed that kid-voice so readers could stare in horror over his shoulder, understanding things like the dark cloud of suicide in his father's head without having his reaction ruin half a page of ominous build. 'Dir
Writing mental illness (a short guide)When incorporating mental illness into a piece of literature, the most important tool you need to use is research. This is true whether you want the mental illness to play a large part OR a small one, and it is true whether you know someone with mental illness or not. In fact, it's even true if you have the illness yourself, because no two people are the same, and your character may display different facets to you due to contributing factors like experience and personality.Writing mental illness (a short guide)2 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
That said, research is not the first thing you should do, because before you get stuck into that research, you need to look at WHY you want to include mental illness in your literature. If you think it would be cool or fun, you might want to rethink it unless you're prepared to put in a lot of work because living with mental illness is not either of those things (generally) and what you're doing for a bit of fun has the potential to negatively impact someone else's life in a big way because stigma & misrepresentatio
PE Prose Basics: Hear Me My Audience!!Hello everyone!PE Prose Basics: Hear Me My Audience!!2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
Throughout this week we will be discussing a variety of elements in prose writing and this topic is something which isn't just relevant to prose writers, but can be applied to all forms.
Imagine your piece of work is laid out on a stage for people to read. In the seats are the people who you want to read it- who are they? Can you see their faces, imagine their lives? Why have they been drawn to come see your work and read your story? What did you to to keep that audience sat down and interested in your work? Did you think about them when you wrote?
An audience is anyone who could potentially read your work. In writing, we talk about "target audience" and how understanding that audience can help shape the way you write. That intended audience could be specified by age, interests, personalities, cultural background, religion- anything! Of course you may gain readers outside of that target group, but considering your audience will involve your reader in the wr
Getting Your Story Written (Not Thought)So, you want to write a story. Great! But for some writers, this can take a lot of time; which definitely isn’t great if you’re on a schedule! I suffer from this same problem myself most of the times that I try to write, but I’ve figured out ways to get around the tricky subject of writer’s block.Getting Your Story Written (Not Thought)9 months ago in Personal More Like This
Step 1: Shutting off your Inner Editor.
Everyone has one, right? That little voice which tells you to go back, which tells you that you’ve missed a full stop, which tells you that the story can wait if the punctuation or the point isn’t up to scratch.
You need to learn how to shut them up.
Whether that might be Zen meditation, awkward talks with yourself over coffee, whatever you need; just try to suppress that little voice that automatically checks over your work. Right now, they really are not what you need to focus on. Here are a couple of ideas on how to keep your inner editor quiet.
Sub-step 1: Run with some initial ideas.
Specific Imagery: What Makes a Poem Good?Specific Imagery: What Makes a Poem Good?Specific Imagery: What Makes a Poem Good?2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
So what makes a poem good?
According to Samuel Taylor Coleridge (please, never just call him Sam) the definition of poetry is "the best words in their best order".
Fine. But what exactly does that mean?
It means that good poetry is about much more than just matching rhythm and rhyme. What elevates any poem above its peers is the specific choice of words to match the poet's intent.
Say what now?
Think of it this way: our chosen words are our color palette, and the way we combine them equates to brush strokes and blending. Strong words equal bold hues, while overused and cliché terms are a lot like faded watercolors. You want your hard work to stand out, not blend in, right?
Of course I do!
Then my biggest piece of advice is this: choose your words.
What do you mean? I always choose my words; I'm a writer, after all!
What I mean is, do your best to choose the most appro
Creative Contracts for DummiesArt in the Professions WeekCreative Contracts for Dummies3 months ago in Deviant Events More Like This
I'm not a lawyer. This isn't legal advice. My professional insurance does not cover this article. Also:
"The article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship, attorney-client privilege, or legal or practical advice of any sort. [Dongs.]" - haldron
If you're looking at a contract that's terrifying you or involves a ludicrous amount of money or whatever, please consult a local lawyer in your jurisdiction who can help you more directly. This is an article intended to gloss over standard creative contracts from the perspective of a contractor/employee and an employer, and to try and make you realize why you should probably use one - plus a few tips I've learned over the years on both sides of these contracts. Now buckle up and enjoy the read.
Contracts. Some people love them (and rightfully so); some people fear them; some people genuinely don't know wha
Tips for Young Writers...with some help from BuffyHello readers!Tips for Young Writers...with some help from Buffy2 years ago in Personal More Like This
I spend a lot of time talking with young writers about writing. Whether it’s the art of putting a novel together or ways to break into the industry, I get asked a lot of the same questions. So I thought I’d compile a list of tips here for writers getting started at any age. Maybe you’ve heard some of these before, maybe not. Either way, I hope they help you along your path.
1. Show, don’t tell.
Yes, you’ve definitely heard this before. A million times over. But what does it mean? The difference between showing and telling is the difference between sitting in a cafe in Paris sipping a latte and reading a menu online. You want to immerse your reader. If I’m telling, I’m over-describing, maybe even listing scenery. If I’m showing, I’m slipping in details where they fit naturally.
Poetic Terms and TechniquesPoetic terms and techniquesPoetic Terms and Techniques2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
This article aims to give you a brief introduction to some poetic terms with which you can bemuse your friends and nonplus your enemies. Try and sling some of these terms into a casual conversation and watch the ensuing confusion.
If you don't want to confuse people, you could use these terms to discuss poetry like a badass
while smoking unfiltered cigarettes in a French cafe, when critiquing, or to give your own poetry a bit of a vajazzle.
These terms are arranged vaguely into alphabetical order for your convenience. Some of them will be covered in more detail in other articles throughout the week.
Alliteration (see also Sibilance)
Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds, often used for a specific effect in poetry.
the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
- - Wilfred Owen, ‘Anthem for Do
Readymades: Hallmarks of Lazy WritingReadymadesReadymades: Hallmarks of Lazy Writing2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
Hallmarks of Lazy Writing
ShadowedAcolyte here for projecteducate's Prose Basics Week. I decided to tackle "lazy writing" as a topic, because they always say "write what you know" and boy, do I know laziness. Then I realized there were dozens of ways to be a lazy writer, so I heroically narrowed the scope of my article down to one broad topic: readymades. After talking about what a "readymade" is, I'll explain why they should be avoided in writing prose*, and I'll finish with some tips to help you avoid using them yourself.
Before we go any further, I should note that the term is not a technical one. It is the word I was taught to use to identify a set of common problems with weak writing, so it's the word I use. I hope you'll find this article helpful, but it's not a textbook.
*I say "prose" because it's Prose Basics Week, but readymades infect poetry as well. If you're more a poet than a prose
Great vegan quotesPhilosophers, scientists, writers, politicians... lots of great women and men have talked for animal rights and given us great quotes to show how much this cause is necessary and right.Great vegan quotes2 years ago in Personal More Like This
So, tell me your famous quotes and I'll put them here
"If beef is your idea of real food for real people, you'd better live real close to a real good hospital."
Neal D. Barnard
"Never believe that animals suffer less than humans. Pain is the same for them that it is for us. Even worse, because they cannot help themselves."
Dr. Louis J Camuti
"We don't need to eat anyone who would run, swim, or fly away if he could."
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
"Animal rights is the most unextreme philosophy I can imagine. It is about nonviolence. It is about compassion. It is about not harming and not causing suffering and not killing when we do
Notes on Co-WritingNotes on Co-WritingNotes on Co-Writing1 year ago in Deviant Events More Like This
verb: co-write [kəʊˈrʌɪt]
gerund or present participle: cowriting
write (something) together with another person.
Successful co-writers often go under a pseudo name, such as Nicci French, Tania Carver, Scott Mariani.
We're not going to talk about one off poems or stories, we're getting into the nitty gritty of long term co-writing. By this, we mean writing together for 6+ months.
The number one question we get whenever we mention co-writing is:
How does it work?
For us, it starts with finding someone who you can be friends with.
Don't go looking for someone who you only want to write with. Of course it's important that you both share a passion for what you're about to start, BUT there's a reason most co-writing duos are married or close friends. It's important that you have
Aditi's (lovetodeviate) Resource ListAditi (lovetodeviate) was a great (brilliant, amazing, talented, much-loved, etc. etc.) literature GM here at dA a while back. She recently deactivated her account (her own choice, and one that I respect) which meant her journals were gone, and along with them her famous literature resource list. I asked her if there was a back-up floating around and she obligingly emailed me the latest one. So here it is, reproduced for your viewing pleasure.Aditi's (lovetodeviate) Resource List5 years ago in Personal More Like This
Just to be clear I had absolutely nothing to do with this; all thanks must go to Aditi. Unfortunately you can't leave a message on a deactivated page. However, if you use this resource, I'm sure an appreciative tweet in the direction of blottingpaper wouldn't go astray.
I will do my best to maintain this list, so if anyone finds any high quality resources that they feel should be added here, send me a note and I'll do so.
EDIT 16/04/10 It's pretty soon after my previous update, but I was reorganising my bookmarks and found a couple of i
Literature DealbreakersI angsted a lot over posting a list of 'DD dealbreakers' for many reasons, the only relevant one being that I still want to see it (if it's featurable)!Literature Dealbreakers2 years ago in Personal More Like This
So these are all things I don't like to see in literature, ever. Use it to help guide you as you polish your work. I know there's plenty of shit I didn't think about until I read about it being a problem.
Note that this could all be summarized with "don't waste my time." We live in a world where books are only one of many potential diversions, and even during a power outage, there's a lot of books to choose from.
Meandering descriptions. Where was I, again...and why do I care?
Uniform density. If all of your paragraphs are 6 lines, you're doing something wrong.Useless characters.An excess of dialogue (tags).No voice. (This is 90% of prose I respect, by the way. I've read books on topics I dislike and enjoyed them because of voice.)No hook.
Rhyme without rhythm.Expecting feelings to stand in for the though
Tips For Writing Flash FictionFlash Fiction Month is rolling up quickly! To help our participants along, we've asked SRSmith to contribute to our Writer's Resources with some tips on how to write flash fiction, which we think you'll find very useful. Thanks, Steve!Tips For Writing Flash Fiction6 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
If you don't know what Flash Fiction Month is about yet, please check out our Very Sexy FAQ, and you can sign up with our other writers here!
Tips For Writing Flash Fiction
by Stephen R. Smith with excerpts by Kathy Kachelries
In order to improve as a writer, you need feedback. It's difficult to write something the size of a novel, and equally difficult to carve out the time required to read one and provide any sort of meaningful critique on it. This severely handicaps the feedback loop so important for the aspiring writer.
Flash Fiction on the
when a muse stands silentdo you know what a feather is?when a muse stands silent3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a whimsical quill,
drooped at the top
like a willow tree's branches
hang their heads.
the ink at the tip,
a tear on the corner of an eye
smudging a porcelain face,
a writer wiping it away with his thumb,
the rest of his fingers
cupping a chin,
and he chokes out whispers that embrace
his broken muse.
What does a good small publishing firm look like?This topic has been coming up a lot lately among fellow writers. For many, the fastest and smartest way to get published right now is with small presses, but don't sign the first contract that comes your way unless it offers you assistance or an advance.What does a good small publishing firm look like?2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Since small publishers rarely offer advances, a good one will give you other services, often in-house, such as professional editing, beta reading, cover art, and marketing assistance, amongst other things. Any publisher that DOESN'T offer at least some of these services without also offering a substantial advance is taking advantage of you. It's ridiculously easy to fake a reputation on the web, so do your homework.
It's very easy to tell if an author is struggling, and how much their publisher is helping, by doing a little online detective work. Check out the publisher's other authors. What is their top book's Amazon rank (seen in the "Product Details" on the book's Amazon page)? Under 200k is decent. Are their websites welcoming and
When a Man Loses HimselfWhen I lost my footingWhen a Man Loses Himself4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Losing not balance but self
I met a man, tiny
Pacing the very rocks I skipped
Holding his isosceles heart
Without fear, only repercussion.
Staggering now, I cut my fingertips
On his crooked smile, clumsily
Keeping grip, I lost traction
Reminding the days without sun
To hide in old books as fragments
To be discarded when entirely whole.
PE: Story Planning Week!Greetings everyone and welcome to another fun-packed week at projecteducate! This week has been teamed back up with CRLiterature and will be focussing on story planning!PE: Story Planning Week!2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
What do we mean by “story planning”?
Planning a story sounds like an easy task- even at primary school level you are taught that a story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. However there are plenty of important elements that build a story; a lot of prep work that can actually improve the quality of your novel writing in the long run. This can cover almost anything- from world building, character development, creating past history and plot mapping etc. There is a huge range of elements that can turn your idea into a strong well-structured novel.
Are you going to tell me how to write a novel?
Not exactly. We can’t tell you how to approach your novel and how to write it from chapter 1 through to the end. We’re not giv
it was always the same.There was a hesitation in his heart -it was always the same.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
A ghost and photograph trapped within the confines
Of flesh and throat which wrought miserably upon
Distraught vocal chords.
Each gaping breath fled from his body, producing various shades of white.
It would submerge eventually, imprisoning the vessels of life with chills.
" I admit " he begun, laughing nervously as he dragged himself and tip-toed carefully.
Purple laced skin filthy with spots of white and yellow.
"There's nothing quite like it."
It wasn't the first time he had experienced such pleasurable effects - producing the
Safe haven of a black and white world fleeting in colorful places.
He had often spoken of a visitor who entranced him during the hours of night,
Snatching the remaining fragments of bone and memories and slithering off with them.
She was not a gracious guest, never once performing proper etiquette as she consumed his nectar.
(Quite a mess indeed, often splattered a
Everlasting LoveEverlasting Love.Everlasting Love3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Two wrinkled hands intertwined with one another.
Their frail legs moving at a notably slow pace.
They always come in to the store every Sunday morning.
Buying their weekly packets of bird nuts and wild berries.
The elderly man always gives me a subtle wink whenever he sees me.
Comments on the amount of female partners I should be courting.
While the elderly women casts an innocent smile.
Ignoring her husbands repeated jokes and tugs him out the store.
The next week the elderly man is pushing his wife about the store.
His arms straining from the weight of the wheel chair.
He holds up two variations of bird berries so his wife can choose.
She winces in pain as she adjusts her position in her new mobile seat.
I am the only till queue they ever come to.
The elderly man as usual engages into his derogatory banter with me.
His wife giving him her ritual glance as she hands over the change.
Smiling with her youthful eyes guarded by a lifetime of creases and indents.
past path - present painheartache tastes like a storm in summer.past path - present pain3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
it comes suddenly, soaking you to the bone to wash the same old yesterdays out of your bloodstream and leaves you feeling cold for longer than you can handle without making you sick.
time has played with my memories.
life twisted and turned until you faded out of it, like a moon that once ruled the sky hid behind the clouds. yet sometimes it gets curious and peeks from behind them, blinding me instantly.
a dull ache weighs down my chest.
it makes it hard to breathe when I realize that once the girl holding your hand was me. I was the one whose eyes you adored, whose lyrics you tried to decode, whose lips you bit in frustration. I was the one who made you cry, because you looked beautiful with tearstained cheeks and trembling hands holding me by the neck.
she can make you smile, but darling I made you laugh and scream at the same time, I made you break things to put them back together and in the morning I kissed you goodnight.
Black MarauderHe is your everyBlack Marauder3 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
thing, is he not? Crystal
ball eyes, undertow hands,
heartbeat louder than
a bomb. Sinbad smile. He is
your sin; bad, is it
not? He is across
the seven seas. Beetle-bright,
bottle-shined, the waves
ready to swallow
you. Black marauder, ink and
scars, let him plunder
treasure, not trinkets
in your chest. No shipwrecks now;
not tonight, drunk off
the moonshine. No skull
and crossbones on a platter.
They are not served here.