Saturday, June 9, 2007

Frenzy Week Two: Vikings For Victory

What is Script Frenzy? | Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants attempt the creatively daring feat of writing an original, full-length screenplay—or stage play—in a single month."

from my email:-

'Dear fellow playwrights and screenwriters (hey, I like the sound of that),

First off, a huge welcome to the 1000 new writers who joined the Frenzy this past week! We are all the stronger for having you in our Viking ship, pulling hard against the oars as we start across the tempestuous seas of Week Two. We may be whipped by the winds of indecision and tossed by swells of fatigue, but just remember all the sea beasts we vanquished in Week One: self-doubt, perfectionism, fear of failure, an attachment to sleep. We will persevere and conquer.

For those of you still standing on the shore, wondering whether to swim for the wild camaraderie of the HMS Frenzy or just sit and watch moss grow on your keyboard, I say make a break for it! Almost everyone - myself included - is still just getting started. Even if you haven't written a single word, you're only 4,000-ish words behind the suggested goal for Week One. You've probably written more than that trying to get out of a parking ticket.

Since everyone is still very much in the race, I'm including a few writing tips to help you gain and maintain momentum:

1) Delete the delete button. Better yet, pry it off your keyboard entirely. There's no time for editing when you have a word goal to meet. Only once you chug past your daily goal should you even dream of trimming and tidying.

2) Ease up on formatting. At this point, all you need to know are four things: action, character name, dialogue, and parentheticals (or for plays: scene, staging, and character directions plus character tags and dialogue). Everything else can wait until July. For a refresher on margins/style for these, check the formatting guides in our Writers Resources section.

3) Hold onto your ideas. Funnier jokes, sharper retorts, a better way to describe your main character's neuroses -- new ideas will come to you at all hours of the day. Put them in an idea notebook or file for safekeeping, but don't implement them right away. Maintain your focus and keep writing the scene at hand. You can act on those brilliant epiphanies after you've met your daily word goal.

4) Watch a lousy movie. This may sound like sheer procrastination, but seeing a horrible film -- or an appalling play -- will banish any remaining worries about bad writing. Your dialogue is clunky? Your scene goes nowhere? It'll still be better than the abomination you just watched. Keep writing as you savor your superiority.

5) Don't write alone. Just like kissing or square dancing, scriptwriting is easier when done with others. Head for your regional write-in, seek out writing buddies in your genre forum, or just invite non-Frenzy friends and family over to pass you Gatorade and mop your brow as you continue your script marathon. When the going gets rough, you'll need the support.

And last but not least, try to have fun with this. We're just not paying you enough to stress out.

Okay, it appears I have a script to write, too. Happy creating, and may we meet on the other side of Week Two with our dignity and stories intact.


Script Frenzy
1746 words and picking up steam

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