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The Hobby Shack => Creative Writing => Topic started by: Chiprocks1 on January 21, 2013, 08:12:10 am


Title: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on January 21, 2013, 08:12:10 am
This thread will be geared more toward the writing process, whereas the other threads in Creative Writing (http://pennycan.createaforum.com/creative-writing/) or more about Genres and similar scenes that pop up more than others. In this thread it's all about discussing what your writing process is, what you focus on first and how you expand from your initial thought. The thread should also include links and videos, be it 'How To Write..." or Authors and Screenwriters just talking about their craft that you can get some inspiration from. So, let's get writing!!

With that out of the way, for those that write, what's your process? What do you start with first? Do you create characters first? Do you come up with the plot or story idea first?  For me, more often than not, a random scene will flash before me at which time I will write it down verbatim from scene descriptions, action, dialog and the characters that make up the scene. Once it's on paper I will start fleshing out who the characters are first before I even go into creating their Bio's or background profiles. If there is still something there that interest me after that, that's when I start to work out the plot details and write what the story is.

So how do you approach your stories?
Title: Re: The Writing Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on January 21, 2013, 08:13:20 am
How To Create Characters

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9ucWkyTrVM
Title: Re: The Writing Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on January 21, 2013, 08:14:09 am
How To Build a Plot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqoFgHPmL0M
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on January 22, 2013, 07:40:19 am
The Directors: Quentin Tarantino on Writing a Script

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5NI7kN7P3o
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Mac on January 22, 2013, 10:57:52 am
I know zero about this subject... so I got nothing to offer except interest and open ears.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on January 22, 2013, 10:59:49 am
I know zero about this subject... so I got nothing to offer except interest and open ears.

You've never written any kind of story at all in your life? If you have, you qualify.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Mac on January 22, 2013, 11:10:48 am
I took this as how seasoned folks would write. I don't believe I've written any stories. I write all the time but in the technical sense. I write here, but off of opinion, not necessarily developing a linear path. And I learned a great deal about writing in college.

I just didn't think that kind of writing was related to authors, screenwriters, etc, that have a mission... a story to tell.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on January 22, 2013, 11:13:19 am
I took this as how seasoned folks would write. I don't believe I've written any stories. I write all the time but in the technical sense. I write here, but off of opinion, not necessarily developing a linear path. And I learned a great deal about writing in college.

I just didn't think that kind of writing was related to authors, screenwriters, etc, that have a mission... a story to tell.

You are aware that you just told me a story. Welcome to the club!! Sure, this may be looked at as nothing more than a response, but if I learn something along the way and your painting a picture in doing so, that's a story.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Mac on January 22, 2013, 12:23:57 pm
Uh, sooooo I get royalities on the book deal, screenplay and of course Johnny Depp will play me... right?
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on January 22, 2013, 01:14:22 pm
Uh, sooooo I get royalities on the book deal, screenplay and of course Johnny Depp will play me... right?

Yes. Yes. No. Dustin Diamond will be playing you. At least now you will have in 'inside' to meeting Tiffani Amber Thiessen
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Neumatic on January 22, 2013, 03:01:14 pm
Meanwhile, Aaron Eckhardt will play me!
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on January 22, 2013, 03:17:23 pm
And Kristen Bell will play with me. (http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i266/Chiprocks1/Smilies/0%20All%20Smilies/HTL_biggrin.gif)
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on January 24, 2013, 11:29:09 am
How to Write a Script - Creating a Great Protagonist

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTgBa9Vg69k

Pretty good information on the whole Main Character Vs. Protagonist model.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on February 06, 2013, 09:41:52 pm
PLOT-O-MATIC (http://www.maddogproductions.com/plotomatic.htm)

This is fun way to do 'What If's'. Not to be taken literally as something to replace hard work. But this does work though.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on February 06, 2013, 09:48:26 pm
Plot Scenario Generator (http://www.archetypewriting.com/muse/generators/plot.htm)

Another generator.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on February 06, 2013, 09:50:57 pm
Writer's Plot Generator (http://writers-den.pantomimepony.co.uk/writers-plot-ideas.php)

And another one.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on February 26, 2013, 12:26:40 pm
The 7 Deadly Dialogue Sins (http://www.scriptmag.com/features/the-7-deadly-dialogue-sins?utm_source=7+Deadly+Dialogue+Sins&utm_campaign=7+Dialogue+Sins&utm_medium=email)

Good stuff to keep aware of when writing your own dialogue.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on April 01, 2013, 07:22:31 pm
Script Writing 101-How to Make Page 1 of Your Script Kick Ass

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MQsTZR-aZI
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on August 16, 2013, 11:37:04 pm
Craft: Tarantino Unchained -- Scene Build Clinic (http://screenwritingmasterclass.com/curriculum/craft-tarantino-unchained-scene-build-clinic/)

Courtesy of Neumatic.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Neumatic on August 16, 2013, 11:48:47 pm
The folks who do that class have a great catalogue of stuff-- money is really the only thing keeping me from enrolling in more.  Definitely worth a look... the CORE classes though, while they're great I think they're becoming more public tools on the BlackList Forum so you may want to wait before paying money on those.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Neumatic on August 17, 2013, 12:12:28 am
Just found this: Ten Questions Every Filmmaker Should Ask Themselves (http://trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com/2013/08/10-questions-every-filmmaker-should-ask-themselves.html).  Took a screengrab of the article for my notes (as I often do when reading things online).  But I'll put the list of ten here because why not?

Quote from: Source I Just Linked To
What does the film say about the world we live in?
What universal themes are explored in your film?
Briefly describe the appeal you think your film will have for audiences (and why)
List ten or more keywords to describe your film.
What emotions do you feel your film brings forth in viewers?
What are your film’s strengths?
What are your film’s weaknesses?
What are the unique opportunities with your film?
What are the threats?
How does your film primarily differentiate or distinguish itself from other work?
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Mac on August 17, 2013, 04:37:19 am
And I guess those questions depend on who your audience is. Kids, teens, families, women, men, couples, etc.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 08, 2014, 08:00:23 am
How to Write a Script That Doesn't Suck - Secret to Writing a Screenplay That's Awesome

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCKSZBSJR2k&index=5&list=PLp2e7UfInEgmB-5r4rtQOEsq-H-mNmQhk

I wish this guy would do more videos. It's nothing new, but he presents it in a very easy to remember way and it's not long either. Short and concise.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 08, 2014, 08:02:07 am
Write Quick & Better: The "Aha" Index Card Method

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6ptU71EMvw&index=2&list=PLp2e7UfInEgmB-5r4rtQOEsq-H-mNmQhk

Another good trick using the Index Card Method. Not new and it's something every Teachers drills into their students when getting started.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 08, 2014, 08:04:27 am
What Must Happen In The First 10 Pages Of Every Screenplay by Michael Hauge & Mark W. Travis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ6GB3rxl48&index=3&list=PLp2e7UfInEgmB-5r4rtQOEsq-H-mNmQhk

Ya know, I've known about Hauge for years, but I have never even bothered to look into his books. I might see if my Library has a copy and give it a shot just to see if he 'Status' as Screenwriter Guru is well deserved. I did like the above clip, which is encouraging.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Neumatic on July 04, 2014, 06:54:58 pm
So after years of getting pestered, I finally took the plunge and downloaded Scrivener (well, I didn't take the "pay plunge" yet, I still ahve the rest of the month to "try it out" but I guarantee I'll be paying).  I was really hesitant about it because it seemed like, well, ONE: each project would take up a lot of space, especially with all the reference I use, so I'm trying to cut back on that, and TWO: It seemed like it would make it really easy to skip steps.  The way my workflow is designed now, I need to have complete a step before I can start another, I need confidence and actual material.  The way Scrivener works, where you have everything at your fingertips, seems like it would be really easy to work out of order and screw the whole thing up.  So what I'm actually using it for isn't so much writing as it is long-term storage of miscellaneous ideas.  Stuff that's waiting for a story and characters to be attached to.

It'll be really interesting to see how the program effects my workflow.  I'm pretty well organized, but I'm also a lateral thinker so I like to have everything separate.  It's not so bad now after one day but I can see these things becoming really convoluted really quickly.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on July 04, 2014, 07:20:28 pm
As strange as it may sound, I have NEVER heard of Scrivener until you mentioned it. I did a cursory search and it reminds me a bit of Dramatica Pro that I bought when I first got into serious screenwriting, thinking it would simplify my work process. It actually had a negative impact on my writing. So much so that the idea of ever launching the program makes me ill. Now I'm not saying this other program is anything at all like Dramatica Pro. I just never got anything out of the program when trying to use it. With that said, I will be tracking your progress and look forward to hearing how the program has benefited you in anyway. My problem with DP is that it was so bloated and convoluted in its process that it hinders any kind of creative writing. Well, it did for me anyway.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Neumatic on July 04, 2014, 07:30:44 pm
I feel like I'm putting together a miniature Wikipedia like thing for my big ideas... or rather, the nebulous things that might become ideas.  And the documents actually remind me of the first web pages I made, which I like (I was so god-d*mn prolific back in those days, so I feel like I'm getting some of that energy).

The funny thing is that I feel like I can't imagine seriously writing with this thing, just seriously organizing (it's actually quite calming).  It's a repository for stray ideas, things I can't figure out, waiting for the day when I might be able to.  And I'm very diligent about organizing as I go: folders with subfolders with subfolders, all properly labeled.  Just having a place to put a stray idea about something bigger and then to forget about it knowing it's in the right place... it's a bit of a relief.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on July 04, 2014, 09:16:07 pm
The organizing aspect does sound appealing. I know I could use something similar given that I have so much stuff scattered all over the place, be it actual pieces of paper, documents and whatnot on External Hard Drives.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Neumatic on July 04, 2014, 10:44:59 pm
Plus, my stuff is segregating by format (pictures, movies, text files, final draft files) and categorized by where they came from.  Now if I have an idea, I can put the visuals into the text file right in there.

Here's something I just threw in:

(http://www.emilysbrother.com/forum-posts/btheserieslocale.jpg)

The actual picture I filed with the other pictures in its' set, in an appropriate subfolder in the proper subfolder on the external drive.  But now I pout a copy of it in Scrivener with a quick note (I'll add others later), filed it as an interesting location.  Then I can figure out what it is, what the characters could do there, etc.  The old way would have just been a JPG file with a whole bunch of others in folders, but I'd either open one at a time or roll through them all.  Just doing this gives me so much more context.

What I love about this is the next time I stumble upon something like this, I can slip it right in there instead of having to go back and hunt for it, and I can remind myself exactly what I was thinking.  File and forget.

I actually need to go back in there and divide my scene ideas into "Work, Play, and Fling" folders (thinking Nip/Tuck structure!) to make it easier for me later on to construct episode plots.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on July 05, 2014, 04:49:13 am
Thanks for the update. This looks to be a very practical tool and something I could get on board with. This is nothing like Dramatica Pro. Thought they were the same type of program, just dressed up differently. Will definitely be looking into this a bit more.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Neumatic on July 05, 2014, 06:49:20 am
I will warn you though that the program is only as organized as you are.  When I opened that file, all it was was "Drafts" and "Research."  I had to make all those categories.  And in fact, since this screencap was taken, I integrated all my random notes for this idea, including characters, and it got BUSY!  But I worked out the Work/Play/Fling structure from Nip/Tuck and so now I"m organizing all the random scenes into those categories (I don't have anything for the mob side of this... I need some good mob action movies to watch!)  I can't really go into too much detail/examples without starting to give away with the project is, though (although I will say to me, it's fairly obvious).
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on July 21, 2014, 10:09:59 pm
22 Lessons From Stephen King On How To Be A Great Writer (http://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-king-on-how-to-write-2014-7?utm_content=buffer61d3f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

From the master himself. If you can't find one thing to take away from this, then you shouldn't be attempting to write at all. This is something to keep handy at all times should you get discouraged. All Hail KING!
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on February 25, 2015, 05:37:49 pm
Neil Gaiman's Advice To Those Who Just Can't Get Their Thoughts On Paper (http://writerscircle.com/2015/01/neil-gaimans-advice-to-those-who-just-cant-get-their-thoughts-on-paper.html)


More insightful words from Neil Gaiman.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 24, 2016, 10:10:23 am
Independence Day (1996) Beat Sheet (http://www.savethecat.com/beat-sheet/independence-day-1996-beat-sheet)



We have been discussing the upcoming Sequel the past couple of days here (http://pennycan.createaforum.com/movies/id-forever-part-1-(tbd)/msg17997/#msg17997) and ironically enough, I just got the Beat Sheet for the Original (http://pennycan.createaforum.com/dvd's-blu-rays/independence-day-(1996)/msg5123/#msg5123) delivered into my Inbox 5 minutes ago from Save The Cat.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Mac on June 24, 2016, 11:07:07 am
So what is a beat sheet and who, how, where and why?
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 24, 2016, 11:31:56 am
Beat Sheets are what Hollywood Producers like to use when it comes to putting together a script. They are under the impression that every movie made has these particular plot points, hence why the criticism of every movie looks and feels exactly alike. There is no deviation. Now, the trick in writing a script is to deviate enough to create something "original" while keeping the suits happy as long as their beats are met. Another way of looking at Beat Sheets is a 'Paint-by-Numbers' approach. Some say this is cheating while others use it as a guideline to jump-start their own scripts when they have a severe case of writers block.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Mac on June 24, 2016, 01:10:37 pm
I learn something new everyday with you guys.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on August 14, 2016, 09:48:09 am
Aaron Sorkin's Screenwriting MasterClass | Official Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujdVdQkw24M

I just saw this yesterday. I never watch ads on YouTube, but as soon as this ad started, I was hooked.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on July 19, 2017, 06:55:14 pm
Breaking Bad — Crafting a TV Pilot

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbMgYMY9Ryw&t=625s

This popped up in my Suggestion Feed a couple of months back, but for whatever reason, I didn't click on it. I think I was searching for something else at the time and thought I had saved this for later. Anyway, just watched this and the deconstruction is spot on and learned some things that I never really thought about. There is a lot to take away from this. I see myself going back and watching this from time to time in the future just to remind myself of what I want to do with my writing. Great stuff here.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on July 19, 2017, 06:58:11 pm
Rogue One vs. The Force Awakens — The Fault in Our Star Wars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsIQa7sH5_Y


Checking this guys channel, looking for more stuff to chew on, I came across this one. Another great Character Vs Character analysis that I didn't even pick up on while watch either flick. This gave me a lot to think about and incorporate into my writing moving forward. Yes, this guy is the same guy that does the Breaking Bad breakdown from the previous post. There are a lot more videos on his channel that I'm already looking forward to watching.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Neumatic on July 19, 2017, 07:35:17 pm
Great channel, I watched a couple of those.  Really encapsulates the issue I had with Rogue One.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on July 22, 2017, 05:15:58 pm
Game of Thrones — How to Evoke Emotion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgZXDeGjf84&list=WL&index=21

This is a fantastic breakdown that made me look at this in a completely different light than I originally did.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on August 25, 2017, 08:53:41 pm
Terminator 2: Why the Sequel Works

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsnsJ69_E-Y

Seems like EVERYONE is jumping on the T2 bandwagon for the re-release. Can't blame them. Anyway, this is a pretty good analysis that breaks down characters and their motivation. This could have easily been posted in the Writing Thread given the depth the video goes in to. Matter of fact....I think I'll post over there as well.

EDIT: Double posting this from the T2 (DVD) thread.
Title: Re: The 'How To Write' Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on September 23, 2017, 05:41:11 am
Broad City's weird and wonderful world of jokes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABUuFJU71PY&list=LLTVgXy5pOO9ff20O1Z1QPMw&index=5

This isn't really a "how to write" video in the traditional sense. But if you watch it, you will definitely learn about how and why Callbacks, Running Gags and Easter Eggs work, which in turn is going to make you a better writer. So, for that very reason, it belongs here. FYI, if you have never seen Broad City, you are missing out. This is funny stuff. Season 4 just started. The above video not only uses Broad City for examples, but it also includes Arrested Development and Seinfeld.