Frenzy, to mean a panicked, unfocused activity

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.

By Tim

An animator, video producer, Lego artist, and author—I am moderately skilled at a lot of different things.

2 replies on “Frenzy, to mean a panicked, unfocused activity”

I don’t get how all these people “win” NaNoWriMo. You don’t “win” the LA Marathon if you merely finish it. You get a medal, sure, since running 26.2 miles is hard, but the winners are the man and woman who completed the marathon in the shortest time.

It’s like giving participation awards to kindergartners, which again, reinforces the idea that merely showing up and producing the required volume of content is what matters. By their measure, writing is the equivalent of stamping out widgets at a factory.

This says nothing of skill, creativity, or quality; NaNo is the real-world equivalent of a thousand monkeys at their typewriters. Every once in awhile this exercise will produce a good piece of work, but that speaks more to the nature of chance than the ability of this “contest” to encourage good writing.

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