Author Topic: Where do you write and what do you use?  (Read 31265 times)

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polkablues

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #135 on: December 29, 2012, 12:46:09 PM »
0
Celtx is a great program. I just wish the process of putting in parentheticals wasn't so labyrinthine, and that you could shut off the auto-complete features.

Of course, this is all academic, since I haven't touched my script in two months.


I hope the movie you're writing is about your predicament, it sounds interesting. you should call it Mrs Fritzl.

Let's not jump to conclusions; it could be more of a sexy, "Story of O" type of situation.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

Alexandro

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #136 on: December 29, 2012, 01:11:07 PM »
+1
I've always used word.
I've tried to write by hand some stuff but grow tired of it soon, my hand aches and it's slower than typing. I write by hand when is some short stuff like a small story or something, but screenplays always in word and when I'm already at a point where I feel is advanced enough I always send myself copies by email in case I lose my computer or something.
Never use index cards, but sometimes when I'm in the last part of the screenplay and wrapping up everything I make a list of scenes and then I might start moving them around.
I usually start with a vague idea of where I'm going and let the characters and their conversations kind of take the front seat and dictate the direction of the piece. Rewrites are mostly to get rid of stuff that stands out because it sucks one I reread it.
i try to let myself go in terms of plot, characters, vibe and, as leslie nielsen says in the naked gun: "like a blind man at an orgy, i have to feel my way through"...usually first instincts are correct, they just need some work done to them.
I also write where I can, but nights at home, completely alone and in silence are better.

KJ

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #137 on: December 29, 2012, 03:24:13 PM »
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Celtx is a great program. I just wish the process of putting in parentheticals wasn't so labyrinthine, and that you could shut off the auto-complete features.

Of course, this is all academic, since I haven't touched my script in two months.

It sucks when you're using the free version tho. Atleast when you're finished and you're gonna print it out or save it as a PDF.

Of course, this is not academic at all, since I wrote 30 pages of my script today.

Lottery

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #138 on: February 10, 2013, 04:11:42 PM »
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Celtx, for I have no money.

KJ

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #139 on: February 10, 2013, 04:20:23 PM »
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Of course, this is not academic at all, since I wrote 30 pages of my script today.

but it is academic, because your teacher probably told you to.

oh yeah, that's the reason why I write...

polkablues

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #140 on: February 16, 2015, 06:43:25 PM »
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Celtx has fucked themselves up by making everything besides the bare writing program reliant on a monthly-subscription-based cloud service. I used to love being able to sync scripts between my computer and my phone, but god damn if I'm going to pay a monthly fee for the privilege. Also, I've had some issues with its formatting engine, which tends to leave big spacing gaps in dialogue blocks for some reason, and there is of course no way to fix it.

So now I'm back to pirating Final Draft, which fortunately seems a lot less bloated now than the versions I used to use. I really like the look of Fade In, especially its page-only fullscreen mode and its iphone app (which would give me the same sort of free-range syncing I used to have with Celtx), but I'm not sure yet I want to drop 50 bucks on it.

But just look how pretty this interface is:





EDIT: After playing around with the free demo version for ten minutes, I dropped the 50 bucks on it. I'm pretty sure this is the best screenwriting software ever made.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

Reelist

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #141 on: August 05, 2016, 12:55:13 PM »
+1
What are your writing rituals? Do you set aside a specific time for it everyday or kind of dilly dally around waiting for lightning to strike? I don't know if I'll ever be a 'first thing in the morning' writer, I need to take care of unfinished business and get revved up for the day before I feel like I'm having a meaningful creative output. I never want it to feel like an empty exercise, that I'm just doing it to fill a quota. One thing I have held myself to is that when I do write, it has to be no less than 5 pages. I haven't been swept up in any spells that will let me go much further beyond that, lately. I've also decided that instead of trying to start where I left off in the narrative arc, I'll just focus on individual scenes and see where they go. That has been helpful in freeing up the chronology of the story and narrowing in on the characters instead of obsessing over the "Who, what, where?" of everything, linking every cause to it's effect. My characters don't seem like real people yet, I'm still holding their hand and trying to guide them when I write. When I notice I'm doing that is usually when I stop, because I know I've dredged the well for today. I have these archetypes of different people I need for the story and am just playing with them like action figures until I find the situations that stick and draw them together so undeniably that I have to write it just to see what happens, myself.

The other thing that's helped is to do like a one page brainstorming session before you put yourself in that scriptwriting frame of mind where everything has to be so specific. If I don't do that, I forget what I'm even attempting to write sometimes. You don't realize how many ideas are languishing in your head because you haven't put them to use yet.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #142 on: August 05, 2016, 01:35:03 PM »
+3
I've learned that you have to force yourself to work creatively, or you'll wait until your mood is perfect and procrastinate forever. Make your brain do what you want it to do.

My characters don't seem like real people yet, I'm still holding their hand and trying to guide them when I write.

I recently wrote something where six characters are introduced at once, so I feel your pain. Maybe the fastest way to distinguish a character is through dialogue. Even if it's an ensemble scene, the reader might very quickly learn that one character is much quieter than the others, one tries to dominate the conversation, one is quick to laugh, one is sarcastic or cynical. Even where you put them in the scene can define their character. This character is driving and might be the leader of the group, this character is in the passenger seat navigating, which says something about them, this other character is in the back seat trying to sleep, etc.

In terms of volume of writing, I also tend to feel that itch to stop and call it a day. It's not writer's block, it's almost the opposite... getting overwhelmed by the number of ideas passing through you, or something. I think it helps to take a break, maybe do a chore and you'll think of something. Or if you want to keep working, go back and edit something, open a thesaurus, organize your notes.
"Hunger is the purest sin"

polkablues

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #143 on: August 05, 2016, 02:00:39 PM »
+4
I've learned that you have to force yourself to work creatively, or you'll wait until your mood is perfect and procrastinate forever. Make your brain do what you want it to do.

One of my all-time favorite quotes is from the painter Chuck Close: “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

I think we tend to fetishize the creative process a little too much. How you're doing it is far less important than whether you're doing it.

I recently wrote something where six characters are introduced at once, so I feel your pain. Maybe the fastest way to distinguish a character is through dialogue. Even if it's an ensemble scene, the reader might very quickly learn that one character is much quieter than the others, one tries to dominate the conversation, one is quick to laugh, one is sarcastic or cynical. Even where you put them in the scene can define their character. This character is driving and might be the leader of the group, this character is in the passenger seat navigating, which says something about them, this other character is in the back seat trying to sleep, etc.

I would add reaction to this. Throw a situation at two different characters, and the ways in which they react differently tells you everything about who they are. I strongly believe in never introducing characters in passive situations. Show them before anything else when they're stressed, pressured, or overwhelmed, and right off the bat those characters will reveal their true natures to you.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

Alexandro

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #144 on: August 06, 2016, 10:20:15 AM »
+3
I've always used word.
I've tried to write by hand some stuff but grow tired of it soon, my hand aches and it's slower than typing. I write by hand when is some short stuff like a small story or something, but screenplays always in word and when I'm already at a point where I feel is advanced enough I always send myself copies by email in case I lose my computer or something.
Never use index cards, but sometimes when I'm in the last part of the screenplay and wrapping up everything I make a list of scenes and then I might start moving them around.
I usually start with a vague idea of where I'm going and let the characters and their conversations kind of take the front seat and dictate the direction of the piece. Rewrites are mostly to get rid of stuff that stands out because it sucks one I reread it.
i try to let myself go in terms of plot, characters, vibe and, as leslie nielsen says in the naked gun: "like a blind man at an orgy, i have to feel my way through"...usually first instincts are correct, they just need some work done to them.
I also write where I can, but nights at home, completely alone and in silence are better.

I read this again today and boy, some things have changed. Since 2013 I think I've gone "pro", cowriting scripts with others which has forced me to quit using Word and start using both Celtx and Final Draft. I enjoy working on both, but FD is the one I prefer.

I've written three feature scripts since Psychotropic, all of them on Final Draft, and as far as my "lone" work is concerned, my process has not changed that much. All of those screenplays were not fully original; one was based on a story a friend told me (he never wrote it, he's not that kind of dude), the other one based on a chronicle another friend wrote about a weekend trip to Miami, and the third one is based on a magazine story by a respected journalist. Despite the fact that in all three cases I had some clarity about what the story was and how it was all going to end, I still just jumped right into it not really knowing the "how" and found my way as I went along. Rewrites have been sparse excepting the last one, which is a bigger and more complicated story, and it's a rarity because it has gotten longer in subsequent versions (usually is the opposite), I guess sometimes you need the extra pages.

I also cowrote (I am actually these days) two other features and in terms of cowriting it's been all by the book. Synopsis, long synopsis, treatment, save the cat structure, checking, character's descriptions, a lt of rewriting once you are scripting. It's interesting, but it's totally not as fun.

Also, I no longer wait for total silence for writing, cause then I would never do it.

JG

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #145 on: August 24, 2016, 11:37:38 AM »
+3
for the past couple of years i've kept notebooks that i write in almost everyday. my notes usually float around 5 or 6 big ideas  that have followed me around for a while (eg. "the sci-fi idea," the "hometown" movie - we all have em) , as well as day to day stuff that i'm chewing on.. sometimes the day-to-day stuff gives way to a big idea... i try and label my notes with, like, hash-tags, so that its easy to figure out later which big idea i was thinking about..

later, i go through the notebook and try to organize and categorize my thinking. i open google docs (life on the cloud) then i riff, get myself to elaborate on my ideas in my notebook. in simply rewriting stuff that i had thought about weeks earlier, i find that i can add at least a little bit more detail... at this point its still half-sentences and dashed off thoughts. i avoid as long as i can writing anything formal.. i rarely write dialogue at this point, tho maybe lines that suggest character's personalities and worldview...

later, when its "time," i comb through these sloppy docs and write neater outlines.. my outlines are loose and veer into prose. sometimes it accidentally becomes a short story. i like to let my brain run wild and try not to think in cinematic terms yet (though sometimes its inevitable).. maybe my prose will suggest shots or a way of structuring a sequence that i wouldn't have thought of had i boxed myself into traditional scenework.. this has been my most exciting discovery in my own process.. its been a long time since i opened up screenwriting software and just started writing.. i still dread screenwriting software for some reason and kind of fantasize about doing it on a typewriter just so i can get away from the screen and write fast..



Reelist

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #146 on: August 26, 2016, 01:23:45 PM »
+2
Thanks for the pointers Polka and JB, and I'm glad to hear you other two are writing so consistently!! I've been nowhere near as productive and I'm jealous, to be honest. I'm lucky if I fill one page with ANYTHING on a given day. I think what makes it the hardest for me is not having any feedback and feeling like I'm just bouncing against the wall when I'm writing. Whether it's good or bad doesn't really matter because I'm not gonna let anyone else see it. At least when I post here or PM with someone I know it's going to be read fairly soon, so I'm hyperconscious of it being well composed and making some sort of sense. I wonder how I could transfer that same logic to my personal writing, so I don't feel like I'm filling up a blank slate but actually moving towards some creative goal. I think what I need to do is take my head out of the clouds a little in fantasizing about some future work where I blow everyone's head off and focus on what would be feasible for me to accomplish with the materials and locations available to me RIGHT NOW. I really hate the idea of creating some "masterpiece" on the page and then sitting back thinking "Okay, now all I need is for someone to give me a ton of money to do this, then we're off to the races!" It's simply never going to work out that way until I start taking the initiative in pursuing every step of the process myself to the point where other people notice what I'm doing and want to join because it seems like a fun and productive thing to do with their time. I heard on a podcast recently something like "A script is really just an invitation for people to work with you." In that, like when you write a part for someone, it's out of total faith in them being able to do it because of how familiar they are to you and you're hitting on something so unique or personal that you'd both like to see how it turns out onscreen. I'm starting to think I need to send that invitation to myself by not projecting some fantastical idea that can only be made in the right circumstances and narrowing in on something I already have access to in my life that could make an interesting movie.

Anyways, I just want to state how much of a haven this place is to mull over this stuff because everywhere else in my life I feel like a very sad man for still holding onto this 'dream', but here it's a thing we all share and know it's possible because a handful of us are doing it. Some on a very high level!

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #147 on: August 26, 2016, 01:41:53 PM »
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A related anecdote. I once wrote something and had a couple people read it, including my best friend at the time. I was aiming for a "what is even going on here" sort of thing, and his interpretation was wrong. That was a little disheartening, because I thought I had actually given too many clues or made it too obvious. (Apparently not.) I considered rewriting it, but I decided not to, because I had absolutely no idea how to reach that sweet spot of perfect ambiguity, unless I focused grouped it or something. In the end, I think you have to write for yourself.
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Pedro

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #148 on: August 30, 2016, 08:49:39 PM »
+3
While I'm not a strictly creative writing teacher, I teach writing every day.  I also went to a college with a particular philosophy about informal writing.  (how writing can create understanding of texts and open the doors to new ideas).   I went back to Bard for some professional development over the last two summers. 

Something that could be helpful for creative writing are "radical revision" prompts.  These can be used for writings of all genres.  I don't have access to my materials right now, but I found an adapted version of a handout I use for my English classes.  There are notes (in blue) from some professor giving her advice.  I hope these are helpful:

http://blogs.evergreen.edu/wolachd/files/2014/05/RadicalRevisionPromptsSpring2014.pdf


Just Withnail

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Re: Where do you write and what do you use?
« Reply #149 on: September 08, 2016, 02:05:18 PM »
+3
Wow, that looks incredibly interesting Pedro. I just skimmed through a little of it now, but I'll definitely have a closer look.

And JG, our process is incredibly similar!

This slow accretion of material over longer periods, where the ideas are allowed to come leisurely and whenever, is vital to me. It's very hard for me to properly start a project without already having a large bank of ideas like this. Maybe it stems from the same place that makes me usually adapt specific real-life situations to dramatize? That I really dread the blank page, and need to have a source to harvest from, ideas ready for me to connect. As if by compiling all these notes over time I can get away from the feeling that I'm facing a blank page and forcing out invention, and rather make it an editing job.

That said, the approach you talk about JB and polka, about writing hard every day, is also extremely important when projects reach a certain point - I just need to have projects that are far enough along that that kind of text production comes natural, and to me that's only after there are a certain number of ideas present already. I never start with a synopsis and a blank page.
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