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EK's STAR LOG
CATEGORY ARCHIVES:
NaNoWriMo Overachievers:
How To Write A Stage Play
Script Frenzy 2010
RE: Dirty tricks Cheats and Writing Dialogue

As has been requested (endlessly) EK's Star Log is returning to the internet. You can still read the original archive here... https://eelkat.wordpress.com 

The reason you couldn't find it is because I set it to private un-index mode, meaning it no longer shows up in Google search results and can only be accessed by a direct link.

Meaning, if you didn't have the url for it, no amount of searching for it would tell you how to find it. Anyone who had the url could still access it though.

I had set it to private September 23, 2013, intending to move each page here to EelKat.com... however, November 14, 2013, after only moving about 30 pages, I was beaten up and left paralyzed for 5 months, then spent 18 months relearning to walk. I am still crippled and have limited mobility.

Below is one of the blog posts that originally appeared on EK's Star Log. The original articles are still online but no longer indexed in Google. Links to the original article, are included with this post, as is the original posting date. Clicking the links will take you to the original site, where you can see the old Space Dock 13 website still online. Space Dock 13 as it looked when hosted on WordPress from 2003 to 2013.

How To Write A Stage Play Script Frenzy 2010
RE: Dirty tricks Cheats and Writing Dialogue

Script Frenzy RE: Dirty tricks

Posted on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | Comments Offon

Script Frenzy RE: Dirty tricks

RE: Dirty tricks


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How To Write A Stage Play
Script Frenzy 2010
RE: Dirty tricks Cheats and Writing Dialogue
My Answer:

RE: Dirty tricks

@@revallyson http://www.scriptfrenzy.org/user/470121

    [quote=revallyson]But I admit, I find myself asking, if you're cheating, why bother playing? There's no major prize for getting to 100 pages, and I know that I would feel like dirt if I submitted an empty pdf and claimed it was 100 pages.
    [/quote]

Did you read ALL of that person’s post? I think not. She didn’t say she was submitting a blank PDF as a way of cheating. She said that she was writing her play out longhand in a notebook and needed someone to make a blank PDF of her finished page count for her, so she could submit her longhand script. That is NOT cheating. She still wrote the script.

    [quote=revallyson]As to fonts and spacing and such, you can't really "cheat" with those. A proper script has special formatting, and if it isn't in the correct format then it shouldn't be handed in. Since the format includes font size and type, page size, margins, etc., it's almost impossible to "cheat" the counter.
    [/quote]

Yes, I agree with you there. And not all scripts are created equal either. For instance, the format for a TV Soap Opera is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the format for a stage play, and let’s not even get started on comic book scripts, because not only do they look NOTHING like any other type of script, but each company has their own format!

I write for small stage (school/college/local) and for comic books (Disney) so, my own script writing style leans heavy in those areas.



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First off, a lot depends on the type of script you are writing. Not all scripts are created equal. The basic types of scripts are:

  • Movie Scripts
  • TV Scripts
  • Radio Scripts: DJ/Talk Show, News Broadcast, or Live Show/Play
  • News Report Scripts
  • Animation Scripts
  • TV Talk Show Scripts
  • Musical Scripts
  • Stage Play Scripts
  • Advertisement Scripts
  • Comic Book Scripts

Each of those is different and each is written in it’s own unique formate and style, and depending on the one you plan to write, you’ll will have to use a completely different style and format. So a person who writes movie scripts may be lost when it comes to attempting to write a comic book script or vise versa.

So, the first thing you need to figure out is:

What type of script do you want to write?

What type of script do you want to write?


    Are you writing hoping to be accepted by BBC for the next season of Doctor Who?

    Or are you writing a play for your local collage drama troupe?

    Do you want to write the words Oprah will say in her next show?

    Or would you rather write the next episode of Days of Our Lives?

    Are you writing a script for The Price is Right?

    Or are you going to write the next big screen movie Johnny Depp will star in?

    Is your script the next Broadway hit?

    Or a modern day remake of the Orson Wells War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast?

    Are you writing the next local cable advertisement of Jolly John’s Used Cars?

    Or the national broadcast of McDonald’s new flavor milk shake?

    Do you want to write a comic book?

    If so, will it be for Marvel or DC or Dark Horse or Disney?

    Did you know that each of the four comic book giants has their own specified script format, each extremely different from the other three and that none will look at an incorrectly formatted script no matter how well written?


Before you can start asking for advice on how to write and format your script, you first have to determine, what exactly your script is going to be, and than you need to direct your questions to a script writer who writes the same type of scripts you plan to write.

For Script Frenzy, it is safe to assume that you are planing either a movie, tv show, comic book, or stage play script, as 99% of the scripts written during Screnzy are one of those.

But I was astounded, reading folks “cheats” here and noting that a lot of you are talking about adding lengthy descriptions. I have to step back and ask you guys: Uhm . . . have you ever, like, actually read a script before? You know, a REAL script, the one the directors and actors read, not that pimped up stuff English teachers have you reading in paperback, but a a REAL authentic actual script.

Let me repeat that...

You are talking about ways to cheat, suggesting quick and dirty tricks.... ways to write 100 pages ...

OF A SCRIPT

...fast...

...YOU ARE WRITING A SCRIPT...

...and the top suggestion you people are saying you are going to do, is...

...TO ADD

LENGTHY DESCRIPTIONS?!?

....

???

...

I'm sorry, but...

DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT A SCRIPT IS?


??????????????????????????????

You do know

SCRIPTS DON'T HAVE DESCRIPTIONS,

right?


?????????????????????????????


Uhm . . . have you ever, like, actually read a script before?

Yeah, I guessing for about 90% of the posters on this thread the answer is a big fat “NO”. And I’ll tell you what triggered that thought for me. The answer is one word:  

DIALOGUE.

The first thing you need to remember during Script Frenzy is this: Dialog.


Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog.

Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog.

Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog.

Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog.

Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog.

Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog.

Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog.

Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog. Dialog.


and oh, look at that . . . more dialog!



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If you are not good at writing dialog, than you will have a tough time at script writing, because script writing it straight up, no stop dialog. Nothing but dialog. Dialog and ONLY dialog. Dialog here. Dialog there. Not a word of description in sight. Just lots and lots of dialog.

There is no prose in script writing.

There is no narration in script writing.

There are no long descriptions of scenery in script writing.

There are no mention of what characters are wearing in script writing.

There is no pretty and plentiful purple prose in script writing.

Script writing is dialog. Only dialog. Nothing but dialog. Dialog and nothing else. Period.

Script writing will do wonders at teaching you how to cut out adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and pretty much every thing else you would use when writing a novel, as you won’t be using those much if you use any at all.

The basic general format of a script is this:


    DAVE:
    (walks into room)

    MARSHA! What are you doing here?

    MARSHA:
    (slaps DAVE on face)

    I know about you and that hussy.

    (throws wedding ring on floor)

    We are through! I want a divorce!

    :CAMERA: Close up on DAVE’s face.

    DAVE:
    (stares speechlessly)

And that’s about it. A stage or radio script wouldn’t have the camera focus points, but TV, movie, and comic book scripts all do. Did you see the descriptions? Yeah. THAT’S what descriptions actually look like on a script.

The only time in the script where you see any descriptions, is in the BEGINNING of the script BEFORE the script starts. In the section where every thing is listed.
Cast List, Setting Notes, Playwright’s Notes, etc.

The list of characters/cast will tell the basics:

    JANE is a young woman late twenties to early thirties. She is homeless and so wears a mix and match of ragged cloths she found in people’s trash. She wasn’t always homeless, she used to be an average housewife, but a massive flood took that all away. Her family died in the flood. Her house was washed away. She has nothing left and has given up on life.

    STAN is a college professor. He is ten or twelve years older than JANE. He remembers her before the flood. He loved her than and he still loves her now. He wants to find a way to show JANE life is still worth living.

That is what a typical character list looks like.

Notice the age range is given, not the exact age? This allows for a range of actors to play the part.


Notice no hair/eye/skin colors are mentioned? This allows more actors to play the part.

Notice how costume descriptions are limited and only generalized at? This allows theaters to work from what they have and helps their budget by not demanding a whole new wardrobe that can only be used in a single play.

The only type of script that DOES have detailed descriptions of character’s physical appearance and costume, is the comic book script. Radio, stage, TV, and movie scripts, do not have them.

The setting notes will tell the basics:

    This story takes place in a small fishing village on the coast of Maine.

    ACT ONE takes place outside, late evening, on the dock. LOU has just returned from a week long deep sea fishing job. STEVE and JENNY were there to meet him.

    ACT TWO takes place in the front parlor of STEVE’s home which has a window over looking the shore. It is late at night. LOU sits in a rocking chair smoking his pipe and reminiscing about his young days as a sailor.STEVE listens while standing looking out the window. Every one else has gone to bed already.

    ACT THREE takes place early morning, on the shore. STEVE andJENNY are watching as LOU sails away once again.

Do you see a pattern here? Like the CAST LIST the SETTING DESCRIPTION is sparse and left open to the interpretation of the director and the producer and their budget.

I’m going to quote something I posted a while back on Script Frenzy:

I’d say it depends on the play write’s personal style as well as the style of the play in question. I think of stage direction in a play, like the choreography in a ballet. If every player knows where to be when and what to do at what moment, than you don’t have characters falling over each other and messing up the play.

For example a one person play may not need any directions at all, simply relying fully on the actor’s personal movements as he speaks. With only one or two actors on stage, the play would be more open to actor interpretation. Two actors could guess each others movements and act accordingly.

Whereas a full two hour production with intricate (setting, lighting, costume, etc) details, and 20 or 30 actors on stage at the same time, would need quite a bit of stage direction to prevent it from turning into utter chaos. I mean, if you have 20 actors on stage, each one “doing his own thing” when it comes to interpretation, you’d have nothing but a huge uncoordinated mess.

So, when I’m writing a play, my personal style is: the bigger the production, the more detailed the stage directions need to be, while the smaller production can go with little or even no stage directions.



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So in the end, what it boils down to is this: “Cheating” by adding descriptions and creating “unique” formats, is not going to get you any where in the business of script writing. Now if you are just writing a script for the heck of it and no one but your family and friends will ever read it, than, it doesn’t matter what you do.

HOWEVER, if you are planning on making a career of being a playwright, a comic writer, a screen writer, etc, than knowing the guidelines and following the rules now, will save you a lot of time, heart ache and unnecessary revisions later on.

In other words, it is unwise to add lots of long detailed descriptions, because you will only have to delete ALL of them, before you can get your script produced. And by deleting them, you will lose all those extra pages, meaning you’ll have to write that much more dialog for your script to bring it back up to being a full length script. Which means, by cheating and adding descriptions, you only cheated yourself out of getting your film/play made.

Remember, you want to write an actual producible script here, not a bunch of empty filler. Filler is nothing but tasteless sawdust. Sawdust gets thrown away. Don’t fill your script up with something that gets thrown away.

You’ll thank yourself later.

In other words, it is unwise to add lots of long detailed descriptions, because you will only have to delete ALL of them, before you can get your script produced. And by deleting them, you will lose all those extra pages, meaning you’ll have to write that much more dialog for your script to bring it back up to being a full length script. Which means, by cheating and adding descriptions, you only cheated yourself out of getting your film/play made.

Remember, you want to write an actual producible script here, not a bunch of empty filler. Filler is nothing but tasteless sawdust. Sawdust gets thrown away. Don’t fill your script up with something that gets thrown away. You’ll thank yourself later.

Every unnecessary thing that you don’t add today, is one more thing you will not have to remove before you can submit your script to a director/publisher.

Remember, when is comes to script writing: less is more.




More topics I write about:

52 Stories in 52 Weeks Writing Challenge 50000 adventure advice advice for writers aliens animals Art Arts author authors Autism birds  blogging books CafePress cats characters Copper Cockeral Cards and Gifts CosPlay EelKat Etiole faeries Family fantasy fiction friends Genres geography goals Gothic harassment Hobbies horror Just For Writers kimono LDS Life life blogging Maine making money online Mormons my thoughts on... NaNovel 2009 NaNoWriMo national novel writing month Old Orchard Beach Phooka phookas publishing readers sci-fi science fiction sewing short stories Squidoo Stories The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints The Ruby Throated Humming Bird The Twighlight Manor UFOs Wendy C. Allen witchcraft witches words per day write writer writer's block writers writing writing contest Writing Exercise Writing Prompts: Writing Tip of the Day Zazzle



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The Dungeons & Dragons Articles:



Meet My D&D Player Characters:

 The Chaotic Neutral Mind Flayer Wizard-Priest

(ZooLock the Great)

Lawful Good Space Cat

(Empress EelKat)

The Chaotic Evil Faerie (Phooka/Unicorn) Illusionist Necromancer

(King Gwallmaiic aka BoomFuzzy the Unicorn aka The Elf Eater of Pepper Valley)

The Chaotic Good Gnome Illusionist/Thief

(BeaLuna the Faerie Hunter)

The Chaotic Neutral Half-Dwarf/Half-Troll Barbarian

(Bullgaar the Vulgar)


Sadly I've not played in a D&D game group since I was beaten up at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) November 14, 2013 and left paralyzed for 5 months, relearned to walk for 18 months, and am still now in 207 crippled and with very limited mobility. A 4 door white truck left the scene.

The FBI believes this attacker to be the same person who blew up my house with a bomb on October 18, 2006.

The 4-door white truck has Maine plate #: 1459 US.

More information can be found HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

If you know the driver of this truck, they are wanted for 2 counts of attempted murder, the bombing of my house, the kidnapping of my cats, the murder/beheading of my cousin, and more than 200 terrorist attacks on LGBTQ residents of Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Please give any information you have to the identity of this very dangerous criminal to:

FBI Agent 
Andy Drewer 
@ (207) 774-9322  



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Please Note: The Quaraun Series Is Rated M18+ and you must be 18 or older to buy it.

Most pages on EelKat.com are about writing Yaoi, and thus probably is NSFW; reader discretion is advised.

Why is the Quaraun Series Rated M18+?


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Where to get ideas

  1. Story Prompts & Writing Dares
  2. Ideas, Ideas, Ideas (Where Do You Get Them?)
  3. Daily Writing Prompts June 2017

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The Quaraun Series On Amazon:

I am wondering why has Amazon moved the Quaraun books to the category "Transgender Romance" and also "Gay Erotica"? The base story is a deeply depressed, suicidal, drug addict Elf who's lover commit suicide and he's trying not to do the same. It's an old Elf in a tavern, monologuing a lot of flashbacks and back story scenes of his youth. These stories are dark, bloody, angsty, full of drug use, murder, rape, Medieval torture, mental/physical/emotional abuse, and references to depression and suicide - no romance in it, unless you count the occasional (and usually brutally violent) rape scenes that show up in nearly every volume - sorry - no clue what Amazon is thinking or why they moved these to Romance and Erotica, but these books are NOT even close to being Romance or Erotica on any level at all. When I published these books I put them in "Dark Fantasy" and "Yaoi". If they show up in any category other then "Dark Fantasy" and "Yaoi", it's because Amazon put them there without my authorization or approval.

~EelKat