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warnerchild

How do you decide?

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i can write full plots like there is no tomorrow - but i am struggling to decide what format to flesh it out in - i am a big movie lover - i dont read books - but i hope that isn't a bad thing as hopefully i will have a unique angle/voice - i am an ex signed musician so i guess i will have a poetic edge with my scripts - i have noticed that short novels get picked up by hollywood e.t.c like blade runner/do androids dream of sheep

i am clearly a beginner

i have recently come across brandon sanderson lectures on youtube and some great threads on this writing excuses website - i just watched a video where he is saying the comparison of outline vs free write - i can see myself doing an orson scott card - outline for 6 months then a month of writing - so i am hoping this is the place to ask for some help - i am not american so can not attend a class or anything - but any free online guidance i can get would be greatly appreciated

i did join the writewords website a few years ago and that was fun when i had my first story idea to get my going - but then i got stumped on the thinking of daily things for the characters to do that would lead to the next scene - how do you writers work that stuff out - any tips would be greatly appreciated - is there a format i can use - like i say i had fully fledged plots with the chapters planned out with their major events so to speak - but i'm struggling with the filling the gaps - how do i write day to day stuff that benefits the character

so my main 2 struggles are

1. Book or a screenplay - in a book i can flesh out the entire world to extreme details or a screenplay i can concentrate on what matters most? one is shorter than the other?

2. Getting from point a to b to c - please tell me any tips OR TOOLS to work out how to fill the gaps from one major scene to the next - in a dream world i'm hoping for like a word tree associated to characters doing stuff or something

anyway i hope this is the right place to ask for such advice - and thank you for all the great youtube videos i have come across thus far

look forward to your reply

ed

Edited by warnerchild
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i can write full plots like there is no tomorrow - but i am struggling to decide what format to flesh it out in - i am a big movie lover - i dont read books - but i hope that isn't a bad thing as hopefully i will have a unique angle/voice - i am an ex signed musician so i guess i will have a poetic edge with my scripts - i have noticed that short novels get picked up by hollywood e.t.c like blade runner/do androids dream of sheep

i am clearly a beginner

i have recently come across brandon sanderson lectures on youtube and some great threads on this writing excuses website - i just watched a video where he is saying the comparison of outline vs free write - i can see myself doing an orson scott card - outline for 6 months then a month of writing - so i am hoping this is the place to ask for some help - i am not american so can not attend a class or anything - but any free online guidance i can get would be greatly appreciated

i did join the writewords website a few years ago and that was fun when i had my first story idea to get my going - but then i got stumped on the thinking of daily things for the characters to do that would lead to the next scene - how do you writers work that stuff out - any tips would be greatly appreciated - is there a format i can use - like i say i had fully fledged plots with the chapters planned out with their major events so to speak - but i'm struggling with the filling the gaps - how do i write day to day stuff that benefits the character

so my main 2 struggles are

1. Book or a screenplay - in a book i can flesh out the entire world to extreme details or a screenplay i can concentrate on what matters most? one is shorter than the other?

2. Getting from point a to b to c - please tell me any tips OR TOOLS to work out how to fill the gaps from one major scene to the next - in a dream world i'm hoping for like a word tree associated to characters doing stuff or something

anyway i hope this is the right place to ask for such advice - and thank you for all the great youtube videos i have come across thus far

look forward to your reply

ed

K O O L t.hanks 4 da halp guize

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I don't think there are any good definitive answers to your questions other than "butt in chair, hands on keyboard". I imagine a screenplay would be shorter, but then that format is also subject to creative control from others if it ever gets turned into a film. Books you have more control over the story you are telling, plus you have a better chance of getting your work out there and read by others.

I don't know if there are any good tricks for the scene transitions that you are struggling with other than keep the action moving and try different things out. Just start writing from your outline and try filling in those gaps one way. If that doesn't work, try another way on the same scene or a different one until you find what works

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First, in order to write books, you must first read books. 

This isn't optional. Without first being a reader, you have no perspective on the medium you're working in. How will you know if you have a unique angle if you're not aware of what angles are already out there? 

 

This is the same for screenplays. In order to write them, you have to not only watch movies, but read the scripts that created them. Lots of them. Read everything you can get your hands on, regardless of genre.

 

Screenplays are much shorter than novels, but they are also much, much stricter in format and (generally) in formula. The limitations on how many characters, scenes, plot points, and pages a screenplay can have are much more concrete. It is also, generally, harder to get a screenplay fully realized than a manuscript, as publication is significantly less expensive than filming.

 

Once you've decided on the medium you want to use, and you've done the necessary reading, that reading will inform you on how to move your characters from plot point to plot point. 

 

This is the way most creative people learn how to do what we do--through example. You need to widely expose yourself to an art form in order to be able to produce it yourself.

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I'll second what's been said so far and add a few tips from my own experience writing novels and screenplays (I haven't published either yet, only short stories, so weigh my advice accordingly).

 

Everybody starts somewhere. The trick is not giving up before reaching your goal.

 

A lot of people will tell you to use an established plot formula like three act or seven point structure. I'm not one of those people. The key to writing well-paced, coherent narratives is to focus on economy and flow. That means saying what you need to say as efficiently as possible (the "in late, out early" rule works splendidly here) and making sure that each scene follows logically from the last.

 

Trey Parker and Matt Stone test the flow of their plots by asking a simple question: "Is saying 'and then' the only way to describe the transition between scenes?" If the answer is yes, rewrite the scene until the transition can be described with "therefore" or "but". This is one screenwriting technique that also works with novels.

 

Don't waste time describing day-to-day actions for their own sake. Drama is based on conflict. If a single page of your manuscript lacks conflict (internal or external), rewrite it or cut it. 

 

Screenplay vs. book: Screenplays usually top out at 20,000 words. Minimum novel length is twice that. I advise against describing a novel world in extreme detail (see Mr. Sanderson's warnings against world builder's disease). However, you can get away with much more description in a book than in a screenplay (which is really all about the dialogue).

 

You don't need word trees/diagrams/pictures tacked to the wall connected with lengths of red twine. Just write the major beats. Don't worry too much about writing downtime/aftermath scenes. Stories should be structured so that each scene follows inevitably from the last and leads inevitably to the next. You want to maintain a sense of immediacy.

 

If you're already writing out plots, outlining your projects is likely the way to go. But first you must start reading books. As a new writer your workload should be a 50/50 split between reading and writing. There are many sound reasons why you should do this. The most important is that books and films are distinct art forms that tell stories differently. Trying to write a novel with no reading experience is like trying to direct a film without watching movies. Reading is also good for you and is fun. Go start now.

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