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 Post subject: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:33 pm 
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Yes, the infamous Eighthours project is probably one of the more well known ones here, but does anyone else do any sort of serious fiction writing in their spare time?

I'm 40 pages through a screenplay now, which has taken 2 years to properly get my head around. Mind you, even now I'm not 100% sure on the idea but that's the curse of writing.

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:08 pm 
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I've written some stuff that a few companies showed a bit of interest in, but that was a few years back and it all eventually came to naught; bit dispiriting. I'm planning on getting back into it ANY DAY NOW - which is why I'm putting off that moment by frittering away my time on a messageboard right now instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:25 pm 
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I started writing a short story a while back, but that kind of trailed off and now I don't have time for it. Work takes up so much of my time, and then any 'free' time I get there are always more important things that need to be done or things that require less concentration. Shame. Perhaps I'll go back to it later down the line...

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:52 am 
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AKA: Goat, Zenigame
Going to start a screenplay soon. It'll be awesome. Just another plan to avoid having to get a proper job.

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:03 am 
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Zenigame wrote:
Going to start a screenplay soon. It'll be awesome. Just another plan to avoid having to get a proper job.


Good man.

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:18 am 
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I wrote a screenplay with a few people, well really me and the burdie wrote the majority of it.
The BBC did a documentary on it and that's nominated for a BAFTA.

I didn't feature in it, though as it would have seen me calling the "girl who started it all" a banana split on several occasions :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:41 pm 
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Comics, comics and more comics. All small press so far. Though I do have a short coming out on a web anthology at the end of next month with an artist film-maker whose credits include Urban Monsters for Image Comics and a short film called 'Backslide' Starring Felicia Day.

Time permitting he'll be shooting some artwork my way for it to go towards an outline/synopsis I can pitch around. Other than that I have other stories/projects (all comics based, though I do want to try my hand at a radio play at one point) in various states of development. I try to write every day, the consistency pays off. It is impossible to get worse at something you do every day.

I really don't want to be one of those people who look back and say "I wish I'd done that" etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:33 am 
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Zenigame wrote:
Going to start a screenplay soon. It'll be awesome. Just another plan to avoid having to get a proper job.


Just know that it can be damn hard, obviously telling the story is a completely different affair than within a novel, or short story.

Going to try and finish it (at around 100 pages) and send mine off to a few companies around Australia, and America as I'm traveling there later this year. I'll probably have no luck, but hey, its worth a shot.

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:44 am 
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I keep thinking about writing, It's my grand dream to do something that brings my love of Japanese giant robot fiction to the west in a similar manner to what Tarantino did with asian kung fu movies with kill bill. I.e. create something new that draws on what I love but with a style and mannerisms suited to a western audience. Just making Neon Genesis or Gundam in live action will never work, it'd still only be a niche audience.

Matrix is a good example of what I mean, it draws on Akira, Ghost in the Shell and Megazone 23 among others but presents the ideas to audiences that have never heard of those things and suceeds.

I have started writing but I want to complete the whole story in my mind first as my English teacher always told me that the best stories have a solid foundation of a set beginning, middle and end. I completely agree with her as there's nothing more annoying then a story that starts off strong and ends up being random nonsense by the end.

Trouble is that I can't pin down the story, it's forever changing and evolving.

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:45 pm 
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IRON NAN wrote:
Trouble is that I can't pin down the story, it's forever changing and evolving.


This will happen a lot, especially with stories that are personal/important to you. One such project of mine has been constantly evolving over 2-3 years now and it's only just started to all 'click' for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:50 pm 
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Same with my story. Started from a single idea for a scene, turned into a very stylised screenplay, then to a more grounded one, and now it lies nicely in between both.

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:44 pm 
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Mr Yoshi wrote:
Just know that it can be damn hard, obviously telling the story is a completely different affair than within a novel, or short story.


Writing in screenplay format seems to come more easily to me than writing a novel, to be honest (though there are different challenges involved...) - just the comparative lack of so much necessary description helps to keep the thing much more streamlined and less finickity. How do you personally find them in terms of difficulty compared to other forms of writing? I've been boning up rather a lot recently for a particular calling card project (though, being indecisive me, I'm now trying to decide which one of about four to go for), so I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Final Draft FTW.


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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:51 pm 
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Eighthours wrote:
Mr Yoshi wrote:
Just know that it can be damn hard, obviously telling the story is a completely different affair than within a novel, or short story.


Writing in screenplay format seems to come more easily to me than writing a novel, to be honest (though there are different challenges involved...) - just the comparative lack of so much necessary description helps to keep the thing much more streamlined and less finickity. How do you personally find them in terms of difficulty compared to other forms of writing? I've been boning up rather a lot recently for a particular calling card project (though, being indecisive me, I'm now trying to decide which one of about four to go for), so I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Final Draft FTW.


I love Final Draft too. Though I don't have access to my Windows machine now so I've been using Scrivener on the Mac which is fantastic. It handles all formats well screenplay, novels etc and the way you can organize notes and research material in the program is really handy. Speaking of notes Evernote is a godsend for collecting tidbits, articles, random thoughts etc.

I haven't really tried my hand at a novel and I don't think it's something I'll be trying in the near future- mostly because I don't have the desire to right now (I'm in awe of those who do though, you're a braver soul than I).

I do want to try my hand at a short play or radio play at one point. I did attempt the former quite recently and found it exercised creative muscles I hadn't really used before. Compared to a screenplay, novel or a comic script dialogue is paramount. I found it incredibly hard in some places to evoke a mood, an idea or a notion just using dialogue.

In comics you're trying to say a lot with as little words as possible. In plays dialogue is king. It's such a different skill-set.

I would say it's similar switching from a novel where you can really get into the head of a character (internal) to screenplays which has a greater emphasis on action and dialogue (external).

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:34 am 
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DrDoom wrote:
Speaking of notes Evernote is a godsend for collecting tidbits, articles, random thoughts etc.


Oooh, I'll take a look at that.

Quote:
I haven't really tried my hand at a novel and I don't think it's something I'll be trying in the near future- mostly because I don't have the desire to right now (I'm in awe of those who do though, you're a braver soul than I).


It's a lot of work! Like running a marathon, really. And then when you "finish" it, you come to the horrible realisation that you've only really just started. But it's rewarding to do, definitely. And you learn a lot by just doing it.

Quote:
I would say it's similar switching from a novel where you can really get into the head of a character (internal) to screenplays which has a greater emphasis on action and dialogue (external).


This is my problem with writing a certain adaptation. The project actually originally started as a screenplay, but then I decided I needed to get into the main character's head a lot more than I could work out how to do in screenplay format at the time. Now that I've been learning shitloads from loads of people about screenwriting and trying various thngs, I think that I can translate a lot of the internal stuff back to a screenplay, but it's still going to be pretty difficult to make it as emotionally rich as the novel. Good thing it's also really pacy and has lots of action, I guess. Gives me a nice fallback position.

The real issue I have with my stuff (and I'm sure this affects most people, but that doesn't make it any better) is that I'll think something's pretty damn good when I've written it, but then I'll look at it the next day and despair that it's suddenly become megashit. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:23 pm 
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Eighthours wrote:
The real issue I have with my stuff (and I'm sure this affects most people, but that doesn't make it any better) is that I'll think something's pretty damn good when I've written it, but then I'll look at it the next day and despair that it's suddenly become megashit. :(


This. Lots of this :lol:

Sometimes I'll be in the middle of writing a scene- full of enthusiasm, that stupid grin on my face. Then from out of nowhere. 'This is sh*t isn't it? It's cliche isn't it? God damn it, it's cliche" Cue tearing of paper or pressing delete.

I think a lot of it comes to confidence and a defense mechanism. A lot of writing is putting yourself out there for others to see and judge- and when your mind wanders to that notion when you're writing it can cause things to come grinding to a halt. I'm trying now to limit interaction with other people, seeking their opinions etc, when writing a first draft. I'll write in a vacuum. Once that's done I'll show it off. Then tweak accordingly. Never during.

I recently came across Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's 'Oblique Strategies' cards.

Quote:
Oblique Strategies (subtitled over one hundred worthwhile dilemmas) is a set of published cards created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt first published in 1975, and now in its fifth edition. Each card contains a phrase or cryptic remark which can be used to break a deadlock or dilemma situation.


A lot of the time it's very Chinese cookie and a lot of what you get is guff. But once every so often there's a gem amongst the pack that can help break a problem or stumbling block.

Five random cards as an example:

"Would anybody want it?"
"Retrace your steps"
"State the problem in words as clearly as possible"
"Don't break the silence"
"Go outside. Shut the door"

As I said, hit and miss :lol:

Something else people might find handy:

John August (Big Fish, The Nines) does screencasts every so often on YouTube detailing writing tips etc. They're a good 5-10 minute watch/listen and contain good advice on the basics. The latest proves the old adage of starting a scene as late as possible


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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 pm 
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I'm currently trying (and failing) to write my first novel, though I find the most difficult thing right now is to focus on one project at a time. My ideas will suddenly turn away from whatever I'm working on, to something completely different and then I'll want to write those down for future reference!
I get sidetracked so often that I'm struggling to stay on course with the novel. :fp:

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:39 pm 
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I like the Creative Screenwriting Magazine podcasts (even though the host is a bit of a fool). After screenings of various big movies, he has an hour-ish Q&A with the writers which is usually pretty enlightening and can teach you a few things. About hope, for one thing!

Also, this is a mine of info: http://www.wordplayer.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:36 pm 
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Eighthours wrote:
I like the Creative Screenwriting Magazine podcasts (even though the host is a bit of a fool). After screenings of various big movies, he has an hour-ish Q&A with the writers which is usually pretty enlightening and can teach you a few things. About hope, for one thing!

Also, this is a mine of info: http://www.wordplayer.com/


Already a listener! There has been some great episodes. KCRW's 'The Treatment' can be good on occasion too depending on who they have on.

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:45 am 
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I've got two ideas which I'm currently not doing anything about thanks to the need to earn money right now - one of them is a film screenplay (psychological drama), the other keeps flipping between a novel and a TV comedy-drama.

And then I've got one scene for the end of a film or TV series, which I've written, directed and even soundtracked (and edited - I can bloody see the thing) in my head, but I can't make it fit with either of the above two. I think I'd need to write a romantic comedy for it to work, but that's another one on the backburner at present.

I'd love for someone to just pay all my bills for six months and I'd write all three absolutely no probs. I just don't have the time - the inclination's certainly there.

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 Post subject: Re: Writing projects...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:56 am 
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Hero of Canton wrote:
I'd love for someone to just pay all my bills for six months...


Ohhhhh yes.

I've decided on my next project, by the way, and it's a doozy. AWESOME EXCITEMENT OVERLOAD.


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