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
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?1 year 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
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 Edit1 year 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.
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 List4 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
Readymades: Hallmarks of Lazy WritingReadymadesReadymades: Hallmarks of Lazy Writing1 year 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
NaNo is Around the CornerOnce again, we find ourselves getting ready for the insanity that is NaNoWriMo. If you've never heard of it, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. That means in the span of thirty days, participants will write 50,000 words.NaNo is Around the Corner2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
1,667 words per day if they're writing every day.
2,273 words per day if they're only writing on weekdays.
6,250 words per day if they're only writing on weekends.
Either way it's a pretty hefty feat, and not something to walk into unprepared. Even if you're a "by the seat of your pants" type of writer.
Which is where planning and plotting come in. Sure, if you're a pantser, you can sit down and bang out a couple chapters, maybe a whole book, but can you do it in a month? Probably not. At least not without a little bit of preparation. For all the pantsers and everyone else, compiled here is a short list of things to keep in mind, ways to prepare, what no
Plot A Scene WorkshopAs we strive to make WritersInk better for all our members, we've decided it's about time we started running some regular workshops to not only get YOU involved, but also to help you grow as writers. With CampNaNo slowly creeping up on us in July, we've decided to kick things off, we're going to keep it simple with a plotting workshop to get your ready to sit down and write without worrying.Plot A Scene Workshop1 year ago in Deviant Events More Like This
Now, if any of you have followed my insanity, you may have seen my plotting journal. If that doesn't prove that I'm nutters, I don't know what will convince you, BUT scene plotting is a simple way to keep your plot moving while also keeping a record somewhere other than you head. I personally plot every scene I'm going to write on paper (even have a sheet for my longer works!). It helps to keep me focused when I start writing. Instead of just running with an idea, I have a solid structure to wor
NaNoEdMo: Self-Revision Tips #1 Tips on Editing: Week #1NaNoEdMo: Self-Revision Tips #11 year ago in Literature Features More Like This
A little behind, but as promised, here is the first article on some ways you can work on revising your manuscript by yourself! While it's always good to have another person (or people-- definitely people) give it a looking over before you truly come out and say that it's finished, you as a writer want to do a few readings over of your work yourself before turning it over to someone.
While there are many tips out there about editing which you can probably find all over the internet and of course in helpful magazines and books on writing and publishing, I thought I'd narrow it down and focus on a single technique heavier in each of these articles.
This week's focus is:
It's probably something that you've heard from creative writing teachers or professors from time to time, but it's something that you definitely should take to heart. The ear is a better critic than the eye, and many times we
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.
PE Prose Basics: Hear Me My Audience!!Hello everyone!PE Prose Basics: Hear Me My Audience!!1 year 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
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
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)7 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.
Formatting for the Interweb EraFormatting for the Interweb EraFormatting for the Interweb Era1 year ago in Literature Features More Like This
Why worry about formatting once you've got your text looking pretty?
We've been introduced to why audience matters, but once you have an audience, you need to keep it, too. One of the easiest ways to lose your audience is to make it physically difficult for them to read your text.
Authors have had books printed for centuries in varying formats and sizes. If it mattered so much to the quality of the writing, publishers wouldn't take liberties from edition to edition. Much as you shouldn't underestimate the importance of good formatting, you shouldn't overestimate the need for frills, either.
Note: I'm going to reference "default" a bunch here. Mostly this means "don't touch it," or "unmodified." Let the viewer make any changes on their end. (For instance, the default font size on my desktop is 16px, versus 12px on my teeny low-resolution netbook. If you made me see 16 on both, or vic
A Crash Course in Slam PoetryThere are ten days left to submit to the Louder Than dA Bomb submission folder. With that being said, I'm putting out an article that offers some tips and quick solutions to problems a poet may be facing when writing their slam poem. But very quickly, I would like to address a stigma surrounding submitting "great" work to contests.A Crash Course in Slam Poetry2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
I'll keep this brief. The world is not set to your pace. Or anyone else's really. Everybody's just trying to keep up. This line of thinking can't be taken to the publishing industry (for those that would like to publish) or anywhere else for that matter. Applying the thought to your art or literature that unless it was created under certain circumstances is to not take your work seriously.
If you don't believe you can write and read a slam poem in ten days, I'm here to tell you different and to tell you the ins and outs of slam.
Slam Poetry 101
Slam poetry works the way it do
Publishing Resources ListMake sure you the news article!Publishing Resources List2 years ago in Personal More Like This
So you've written something freaking awesome. You've edited a million times (and if you haven't, turn around and go do that. Right now). You think you maybe want to take the leap and try publishing something. But you have no idea where to start.
Well, this is a good place to be.
This the journal where I'll be keeping a running list of all the publishing resources I find, both on and off dA. Most of it will probably be related to literary journals, since that's the stage where I'm at in my literary career, but I'll add things about book publishing as I find them.
If you ever find a great resource, or if you'd like to request something specific, please leave me a note in the comments.
Also this journal is probably going to be super-messy and slightly badly-categorized for the first few weeks, so if anything looks out of place and/or you can think of a better way for me to organize this, please
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
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
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
Writing Resources for Noobs (...and not-so-noobs)I spend a lot of time giving advice to young writers. It's cool, I like doing it, and I really don't mind spending time with newbies discussing the business and the art. But I thought it might be useful to everyone if I put some of my favorite stuff here in one post.Writing Resources for Noobs (...and not-so-noobs)2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Chuck gets it.
I find that I often link a series of the same places over and over. There are a lot of resources out there on the web, and yeah, I could just tell y'all to go Google it, but while Google brings up some great links, I also have my own personal favorites. So here you go, EKA's Favorite Writing Resources:
On Querying, Publishers, and Agents
Absolute Write: Bewares & Background Checks
Jennifer Represents, blog of l
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
How To get PublishedOr be Satisfied when You Aren'tHow To get Published2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
A Beginner's Guide
Poetry publication is awash with literary magazines, internet journals, print-on-demand presses, vanity presses, indie presses, and major publication houses. So many options! It's a lot to navigate. But before we delve into the 'How-To's,' it's important to understand the 'Why.'
I'm talking about the the Big Why, the biggest WHY after 'Why write poetry?' Which is, of course, 'Why are you publishing your poetry?'
"BECAUSE!" I hear you shouting.
But that's not the best answer. You'll be happier, or at least more content with the results of the following advice if you understand your motivations behind the urge to publish. What specifically do you hope to achieve?
How to Succeed in Poetry Without Really Trying
If, for example, you want your poems out in the world, in a place people might read them; if you want to be able to say that you're a published poet; if you're not feeling great a
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