Episode 49 of the Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast went live today, Sunday 11th March, and I talked about scriptwriting and the forthcoming ScriptFrenzy.
Script Frenzy is the sister organisation of NaNoWriMo and rather than the 50,000 words in a month, Script Frenzy’s aim is to write 100 pages of script every April – I had a go in April 2010 and while I found it an interesting exercise, it’s not made me want to be a scriptwriter, although it has made me appreciate the work that goes into each film I watch, and sometimes I imagine it written as a script but then that’s the analyst in me! I liked the story I came out with so a little later I converted it into the beginning of a novel. The rule is the same in both projects; you can plot as much as you like before the beginning of the month (November for NaNoWriMo and April for Script Frenzy) but you can’t start writing the actual story until the 1st then it’s pens down (or fingers off keyboard) as the month ends and while you’re doing it you can keep score online, chat to others doing the same thing and a lot of people meet up. I won’t be doing Script Frenzy this year but I may well use the time structure to do some serious word count to one of the four novels I have as yet unfinished. Douglas Adams was quoted as saying “I love deadlines; I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by” but I find them invaluable as it’s so easy to let my writing slide.
The episode mentioned the following links:
Books on writing scripts include:
- Robert McKee’s book ‘story’ provides help on ‘substance, structure, style and principles of screenwriting’;
- Chris Curry’s ‘Writing for Soaps’ (a ‘writing handbooks’ book) – is packed with tips and sample scripts.
- I’ve mentioned Teach Yourself’s books before and they publish a screenwriting book.
- ‘The Screenwriting Workbook’ by Syd Field – exercises and step-by-step instructions.
- James Ryan’s ‘Screenwriting from the heart’ – the technique of the character-driven screenplay.
- Don Shiach’s ‘From Page to Performance’ – a study book for drama (Cambridge University Press).
- ‘How not to write a screenplay’ by Denny Martin Flinn – 101 common mistakes most screenwriters make.
- Penguins ‘Comedy Sketches’ includes Alan Bennett, Noel Coward, John Cleese, Stephen Fry/Hugh Laurie.
- Ben Thompson’s ‘Sunshine on putty’ is a behind the scenes look at modern British Comedy.
- Screenwriting for Dummies which like all the other Dummies books is very user friendly although if you want to write for TV you’ll be disappointed as it’s 95% designed for the big screen.
- William Froug’s ‘Zen and the art of screenwriting’ and the follow-up, ‘Zen and the art of screenwriting 2’.
- ‘Writing Dialogue’ by Tom Chiarella (published by Story Press).
- Rib Davis’ ‘Writing Dialogue for Scripts: Effective Dialogue for Film, TV, Radio and Stage’ which has a link further down the page for Rib’s ‘Developing Characters for Scriptwriting’ – both are published by AC Black.
If you have any feedback or areas you’d like covered in the hints & tips podcasts, do email me at email@example.com. In the meantime, thank you for downloading or clicking on this podcast and I look forward to bringing you the next episode next week which will be three Flash Fiction Fridays short stories.