1. FlimProject2011
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    FlimProject2011 New Member

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    A new start

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by FlimProject2011, Mar 28, 2011.

    Hello all, My name is Stephen and I cannot write, yet alone do a screenplay. I am looking for help in understand how to write a script for film in draft form. I am very dsylexic so find writing hard and difficult for me alone. I work for non profit making Christian Ministry I know nothing about how to go about this and your help and guidence would be greatefully recieved..:)
     
  2. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Welcome :) There is a section in the Writing Workshop where people submit screenplays (It's titled "Scripts") and I would suggest you start there, studying these and how reviewers suggested changes, etc.

    You won't be able to submit anything yourself for review for 2 weeks, but we will answer general questions and try to help until then. I hope you find what you're looking for here :D
     
  3. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi and welcome Stephen.

    Yes, as Trish has already said, you must wait 2 weeks before posting your work. But until then, explore the sight and get to know the other members. We enjoy meeting newbies.
     
  4. MidnightPhoenix
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    MidnightPhoenix Contributing Member

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    I get a writing magazine and the one I got has top ten tips for word play. So I hope this will help.

    If you’re looking to try your hand at a new style of writing, why not have a go at script-writing? Creating characters and their dialogue can be both fun and rewarding, and there are so many potential outlets for your work. Just think how many plays are performed, TV programmes filmed, radio shows recorded…and all of these require some kind of script. Here are ten ways to get started in this exciting market.

    1)Find your market. There is a surprisingly large market for scripts, ranging from unpaid local work to potentially lucrative national productions. For an example of the latter, look no further than the BBC, whose excellent Writers’ Room website, www.bbc,co.uk/writersroom, gives details of number of opportunities and promises that all unsolicited scripts will be read and considered. The scripts they produce include TV film and drama, children’s programming, and comedy for both radio and television On a more local level, you may be able to get involved with a local drama group and their productions. Most am-dram companies buy their scripts in from existing writers, and are often on the lookout for well-written material. Or, you might prefer to write for children, in which case you may be able to work local schools and colleges, particularly if you have an educational background.
    2) Write to suit your interests. The saying write about what you know` applies to most forms of writing, not just scripts. It makes sense to use your existing knowledge of any genres that you particularly enjoy watching yourself - there might include TV soaps, crime stories, horror films or period dramas, for example. Think about what makes the script so gripping, or the characters so interesting and believable, and try to capture the same effect in your own writing. Similarly, if you have young children and find yourself watching hours upon hours of programming with them, turn this to your advantage. Find out what they enjoy so much about their favourite shows (the songs, perhaps), and you have an instant staring point for your work.
    3)But make your work is original. The potential problem with writing scripts in your own favourite genre is that you might just be a bit too closely inspired by existing plays, programmes or films. There’s very little point in writing a sitcom script about six friends who live in New York, who enjoy discussing the ups and the downs of their lives over drinks at a local coffee shop, as this has been done pretty well already! Having said that, there is much to be learned from studying existing scripts be well-established writers who really know what they are doing. The wonderful BBC Writers’ Room website already mentioned has a wide selection of sample scripts in all genres that can be freely downloaded and printed out, from radio plays to sitcoms. Find a script that you enjoyed, and try to pin down exactly what it is that makes this one so good - is it the humour, the storyline, the characters?
    4)Do you need a narrator? Telling a story entirely through action and dialogue is actually much harder than it first seems - many of us are far more familiar with novels, where narrators are generally used to fill in additional information and aid our understanding of both characters and story. However tempting it may be, you should try to avoid the easy option of using a narrator in your script to tell the audience things you think they need to know; unless of course, the narrator is an important character in their own right who adds something to the story, such as The Book who narrates The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
    5)Choose your characters wisely. As with a novel, it is easy to become a little self-indulgent or lazy with characters - remember, each one should be convincing as an individual, and even minor characters should have a reason for existence; perhaps to further the plot in some way, or reveal more about the main character.
    Your character should also be convincing in the way they reveal information about themselves. In real life, people do not walk into a room and simply announce that they’re fed up with work because they’ve been there ten years, and the boss hates them, and they want to retrain to do something else, and they’ve been arguing with their partner about the whole situation. Your hob as a scriptwriter is to find a way of revealing this information in a natural and realistic way, through the character’s actions or interactions with others.
    6)Aim for realistic dialogue. It is harder to produce convincing dialogue than you might think, as every person has their own unique way of speaking - this is known as your idiolect. You also need to avoid making the talk sound too formal -we speak in a far more casual way than we write, using slang, shortened words, incomplete sentences and so on.
    In terms of dialogue, you could always consider collaborating with someone else to produce a better script. Many authors prefer to write alone, but scriptwriting is one area where it can actually be easier to work with a writing buddy (or buddies) rather than in solitary confinement. Unless your piece is a monologue, the script will consist of different characters conversing with each other, and this is where another writer can help by contributing a different voice to proceedings.
    7)But not TOO realistic. When we speak , we tend to do it spontaneously, meaning that our talk is full of mistakes and inconsistencies, and we often chat about topics that would be of absolutely no interest to a wider audience. If you compare a transcript - real speech written down - with a script you will soon see that a lot of the time everyday talk makes no sense at all, and it certainly wouldn’t be very entertaining! Aim to include some natural speech features as discussed above, but make sure you don’t go for complete realism.
    8)Remember your medium. There’s no such thing as a standard script; a script for television, for example, will vary enormously from one written for radio. Although hugely rewarding, writing for a radio can be extremely challenging, as you need to remember that your listener does not have the visual elements available to television viewers. This means you have to be far more creative with use of sound effects - the sound of a knife against a chopping board, for example, could indicate that the scene is set in a kitchen just before dinner time, or the sound of traffic on a busy road would suggest the character is outside at rush hour. You should also try to avoid having too many characters in a radio play, particularly ones whose voices sound the same- make sure you have characters of both genders, and so that your audience will always be absolutely sure who is speaking.
    9)Make sure you give your script a test performance. As you toil away at you computer, carving your script out line by line, it is very easy to forget that although a script has a written format it should actually be crafted as a spoken piece. The only way you can tell if your scripts is working - if it sounds natural, if it’s the right length, if the audience will understand what is going on - is to test it out loud, either by reading it out yourself or, better still, roping in some friends to perform the script while you watch and make any necessary amendments.
    10)Make sure you lay out your script professionally. You should always check specific submission guidelines, as individual preferences vary, but some basic, common-sense rules will always apply. Script Smart, a set of Microsoft Word templates, is a free formatting tool available from BBC Writers’ Room which automatically formats a script to industry specifications as it’s typed. Your typed script should above all be user-friendly for actors who will perform it, so you should indicate very clearly in the margin who is speaking at any one time. Stage directions should also be clearly separated from the lines of dialogue, and if you want the actor to deliver the line in a particular way (’loudly’, for example) then put the direction in brackets just before their line of speech. Remember this is particularly important in a radio script, as the actor cannot reply on facial expressions to convey emotion, and can only use their voice to show how they are feeling.

    So next time you’re watching a play, a film or television programme, rather than sitting there thinking ‘I could do better than this, why not give it a go?
     
  5. Gunny
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    Gunny Member

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    Hi Stephen. Welcome aboard. Glad to have you here.

    If you're wanting to learn how to write screenplays and the format they use there are many excellent books you can buy at your local bookstore or online.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello Stephen, Welcome to the Creative Writing Forums.

    There's no shame in asking for help. However, just to be clear, note that our policies against advertising prohibit asking for writers to write it for you.

    Please read How to Use the Writing Workshop before you post there. Posting your own writing for people to comment on should not be among the very first things you do here. It is worth taking the time to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    Also, be aware that posting a piece of writing on any public site, including this one, will greatly diminish your chances of selling it for publication. Removing the writing later does not alter that fact - once posted, it is irreversibly considered published. So do not post anything more than a small excerpt of any piece you are planning to submit for publication.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Writing Workshop, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Writing Workshop, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize constructive critique as a vital writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. We also impose a two-week waiting period before you may post writing for critique, to give you time to become familiar with what is expected and how the site operates. The Writing Workshop forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Writing Workshop forum). Also, please use the same thread for all revisions and additional excerpts from the same piece of writing. See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out the RPG forum for improvisational fiction. Also try our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  7. Frankzilla
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    Frankzilla New Member

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    Hey, Stephen! Welcome, from a fellow newbie =). I don't know if you know this, but there is a free script writing program out there that is pretty useful, it helps format everything for you, making the whole process a lot less of a headache.

    The program is called CeltX, a few friends of mine used it to write our scripts for a webshow we're working on. It's an excellent, FREE solution to the fairly expensive programs such as Final Draft. Hope this helps!
     
  8. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Welcome.
     
  9. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome, Stephen. :)
     

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