Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Script Writing Helps with Show Not Tell
You may recall I mentioned Syd Field's Screenplay The Foundations of Screenwriting in a previous post recently. Well, ScriptFrenzy (a sister to NanoWrimo) is coming up April 1! Now you may be saying, Jenn, I'm a novelist not a scriptwriter but hear me out:
Last year at this very same time of year, I got an email from ScriptFrenzy's Jennifer Arzt. I thought the same as you guys and came very close to sending the email, unread, into my trash but then I decided to read it first. And, I am glad I did because in that email something near and dear to me was mentioned. Learning to show instead of tell. Something many of us struggle with even if we're seasoned writers. Well, in a script, you must show. There is very little telling. So, ScriptFrenzy is more of a writing exercise to improve your novel writing! It requires you to see the scene and write succintly. And, it's a lot of fun.
Now you may be wondering how on earth you write a script. You can actually find many examples online. A quick Google search and you may be reading the script for one of your favorite movies. I also hit my local bookstore and ended up with Mr. Field's book which lays out script writing like a puzzle. It's wonderful!
Nev and I have decided to give this a try. We may not go the ScriptFrenzy route but we are beginning to write a script. We figured it was something fun to do after the kids went to bed.
Last night we designed most of our cast, chose two settings and outlined three scenes while sitting on our couch (me w/ pencil and paper and those index cards Syd swears by) and Nev excitedly telling me about how he had been pondering all these things while driving in and from work. The cocktails lubricated our imaginations and we had a total blast! Then we watched a movie and discussed it's Act I, Plot Point I, and the Key Incident.