If you haven’t heard, ScriptFrenzy month is nigh: April 1-30, 2010.
Whether you’re playing along or not, here’s a bit of sage advice for all writers from Greg Marcks–as posted on the ScriptFrenzy site.
I don’t have ten tips, or five tips, or even three tips. I can only give you one tip: Please, for the love of all that is holy, know your story before you start writing.
This is so much more difficult than it sounds. I always thought writing was exploratory, an attempt to exorcise a subconscious theme I was wrestling with. While this approach can work for short stories or short film scripts, it becomes unwieldy and time-consuming when tackling feature screenplays or novels.
BEFORE you type FADE IN:, plan the beginning, the middle, and the end.
Now here’s something interesting in the world of interactive storytelling. Crushing It is a comedy series/soap unfolding right now, in real time, on Twitter. How’s that, you say? Series Creator Jill Golick has dreamed into reality a setting, characters, and a hijinks-fraught storyline then turned them loose on Twitter for one week only.
“Think of this as an improv performance on the virtual stage of the Internet,” they say. We’ll think of it as brilliant. Screenwriters play the wedding-stressed characters and the audience fills in the rest.
What are you waiting for? Jump in!
I am honoured to have been asked to be a part of Wendy C. Ortiz and Andrea Quaid’s five-year literary triumph, the Rhapsodomancy Reading Series. If you happen to be in Los Angeles in December, come relax to some original contemporary fiction, a few inventive cocktails, and good company.
Rhapsodomancy Announces the Writers Reading on Sunday, December 13th, 2009:
SUSAN TAYLOR CHEHAK STEVE ABEE DIANE J. WRIGHT MEEHAN RASCH
For those of you unfamiliar with the psychosis-inducing exercise that is National Novel Writing Month (inconveniently known as NaNoWriMo), behold. Every November, hoards of slightly *off* writers plunk down at their keyboards and legal pads hellbent on composing 50,000 words that will, with some luck, jell into the beginnings of a novel. It takes thirty days of frenzied doing and it’s a crazymaking good time.
New writers find NaNoWriMo to be an expectation-free way of diving in to what appear to be an impossible achievement. And novelists with a few on their shelves? Well, they find NaNoWriMo to be an expectation-free way of diving in to what appear to be an impossible achievement…or to start a new project or just for a bit of silly fun. Birthing 350 pages can be daunting to anyone and spilling it forth–without looking back and knowing that the first draft will indeed be utter crap–can be freeing and exhilarating for just about anyone. (Even screenwriters. And yes, we know your dirty little secret…)
NaNoWriMo is empowering. It shows us what we can do. It shows us that we each have unlimited depth to our abilities. (Personally, when I feel blocked, I reflect on my NaNoWriMo experiences and know the words are always there waiting patiently for me to bring them out and shape them into meaning. It’s comforting.) When a group of people come together to push themselves through together, anything can happen.
So far this year, over 15,000 writers have signed up! So why not toss your pen in the ring this November and sign up today?
As you know, dreaming up worlds and the characters who inhabit them is work done mostly in the company of one’s self. For those moments when our creations become vivid in our minds, it is just us and the page — even when working in a writers’ room or a collaborative partnership. So I thought I’d offer this post up to you to share some of the places where writers gather to let off steam, ask for advice, chat about the weather, or just lurk secure in the knowledge that there are other oddballs out there holding imaginary universes aloft and alive. It’s a bit LA-centric so I’m counting on the rest of you to fill it out!
SheWrites. “A new social network where women writers working in every genre—in every part of the world and of all ages and backgrounds—can come together in a space of mutual support.”
InkCanada on Facebook. For “Canadian Screenwriters & their sketchy friends (all are welcome).”
Los Angeles Poets & Writers Collective. “The Collective is made up of hundreds of Los Angeles poets and writers who have studied at one time or another with Jack Grapes. We hold readings, writing classes, seminars, retreats, dramatic productions, and sponsor the publication of books, anthologies, and literary journals.”
AltScreenplay. Writers and actors gather to read Indie scripts and documentary treatments.
Wordspace. Brenda Varda’s Los Feliz venue “providing space for creative development & collaboration while developing partnerships between writers (& writer/performers) and producing organizations.”
Book Party! A lively reading series and cocktail hour in Culver City brought to you by Emily Benz and Liz Anderson.
Rhapsodomancy. The five-year-strong reading series and cocktail hour hosted in Hollywood by Wendy C. Ortiz and Andrea Quaid.
It would be a good thing if we could build this resource together and make it as international as you all are. If you are part of a local or virtual community of writers, why not post the info in the comments and share the love?