One of the five most important rules for writing good screenplays was sent to me today by a clever little girl from Script Frenzy, a “sister event” of the onanistic writing exercise known as National Novel Writing Month:
3. Economy of Words. This might be the most significant difference between NaNo and Script Frenzy (other than the height of the program directors). In a script, the goal is to convey the story without using more words than needed.
This nugget comes more than two thirds of the way through Script Frenzy’s nearly 800-word letter. After a belabored Austin Powers joke (in 2010!); not one, but two introductions; plus a helping of saccharine encouragement. So rather than informing the reader there is a script writing “contest” in April, the message really conveys how in love with its own too-cute-by-half prose the whole endeavor is. I’m sure the relative heights of the program directors will be important later.
Some more gems:
2. Pages. We’ll be counting pages instead of words. To hit 100 pages in 30 days you’ll want to shoot for three and a third pages a day.
Remember: 100 divided by 30 is about 3 and 1/3.
5. I Wrote a Script, Now What? Now what, indeed! There are so many options!
This is fairly open-ended, I guess because selling a script is always the easiest part.
As a great man (Austin Powers) once said, “Allow myself to introduce myself.”
Maybe I should have started with this. Once you open by having to explain an Austin Powers joke, you’ve already lost some credibility.
Here’s an idea: write a script whenever you want, however long you want, about anything you want, and forgo these programs that give you a pat on the head merely for participating.