Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Branching Out

Those of you who are on my Facebook page (click the link on your right to get there) know that while I'm taking a break from anything to do with The Great Man, I've decided to expand my skill base and tackle a script. I'm writing a movie at the moment.

I'm not actually going to sit down and write the script until April 2012 (as April is Script Frenzy month), but I'm doing all the research and prep. work beforehand. I have to say, it's stupid fun. Not literally stupid, but so much fun it's stupid.

I've found script writing exceedingly different from the way I tackle novels. Those who aren't pantsers will probably find it less different. I've been planning a whole lot this time around. I just finished the index cards detailing the character arcs and arranged them all in chronological order yesterday.

Also, unlike my novel writing, I'm using software. It's a free software download called Celtx. It's actually pretty good. I didn't take the tutorial, so I'm probably doing things oddly, but much of it is fairly intuitive.

There is a central database for all your script writing needs - characters, sets, hair and make-up, special effects... the list goes on. The software formats the script correctly for you right off the bat, so you don't have to worry about that when it comes time to write the thing. My favourite feature thus far, however, has to be the index cards. They are colour-coded for up to six plot-lines. I've used all six for the characters that matter. Also, you can rearrange the index cards as you see fit until you come up with a pleasing arrangement of scenes.

There is even a storyboard feature. Not sure I'm going to use that. After all, I'm just writing the script, not directing the film.

In any case, I'm having a great deal of fun delving into the screen-writing business. I'm not taking this one seriously. There's no way I'm going to try and shop this script around. It really is a just for fun venture for me.

Having filled out each character, and plotted their respective arcs, I'm now researching and creating sets. Speaking of, I should get back on that but not before today's Forgotten English.


A father-in-law; also, a step-father; 1500s-1600s
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901


Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

I "liked" your Facebook page. So glad you're having fun with the script writing. If I ever do it, I might try that software.


S.M. Carrière said...

Thanks, Debbie!

I do recommend that software, largely on the premise that it's free. Free stuff is always good!