Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

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    Default Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    This sort of format isn't beloved by many fanfic authors as it gives of amateurish vibes but I'm actually thinking of trying it (adapting Maximum Ride into a hypothetical TV series) but I want to know what some of you (assuming you're familiar with this sort of thing) think of this kind of fanfic as well as pointers perhaps.

    If you wish for me to elaborate, please do so.

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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    Pretty much all of my writing starts out in a movie script format. It lets me get the core of my work down, the ideas, the character interactions with each other, the things they do and basic scenery. Once I finish things, I start work on turning it into a "proper" format. This is the part where I go crazy with the detail, brush up on the plot, characters, etc. Then finally, one last proofread.

    I don't know if I'd be able to read something in script format though. Some of the works I've read here with basic sentence structure are basically one-line-then-line-break and I find that incredibly distracting and hard to follow. Other works which have fully fleshed out paragraphs (but aren't massive walls of text) are much easier for me to follow.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    I think it works for things like a talk-show format or a Q&A with characters, but for anything else my personal opinion is that I hate them and no one should write them. If I saw a fic like that I wouldn't read it for that reason alone, no matter what it was about. Some people don't mind them, though, so...yeah, it's up to you whether you really want to write one. I say go ahead and write it both ways and see which works better.

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    East Unova Resident SuperTrainStationH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    I think I can add something of value to this conversation.

    I think many readers in the fanfiction sphere have a negative impression of script/screenplays being "amateurish" or illegitimate forms of fan fiction based on experiences with younger or less experienced writers putting out "chatfics" as a way to represent dialog and action in a very "easy" manner while avoiding the "complexities" which I know from experience that some younger or less experienced writers can perceive in traditional prose fiction which may make prose fanfiction seem intimidatingly difficult attempt, and so might try a very rudimentary "chatfic" as an easy way around this.

    I myself can say that some of my earliest fanfiction back in 2001 or so when I was about 13 and new to writing used a "chatfic" style format for exactly this reason.

    As a result anything resembling a "script" or a "screenplay" in the fanfiction sphere runs the risk of being stereotyped as being lazily written, or not worth reading, and the practice as an actual form of fanfiction is generally not widely pursued or encouraged.

    Since then, aside from a lot of practice with English and writing in general, I've taken several screenwriting and playwriting courses and workshops in college and have had a little experience studying the format.

    A competently written, properly formatted script, in such a state as could be handed off to a producer and made into a production, can be as engaging to read as prose fiction, and is an enormously challenging format to write in.

    I've attempted adapting an original novel of mine into a screenplay and it was a really demanding exercise, if nothing else I understand why its so rare for novelists to adapt their own work for the silver screen.

    I have a Pokémon fanfiction project I've been developing since 2010 called Wind & Rain. I actually consider completing Wind & Rain part of my "bucket list" it's so important to me. I was struggling in vein to realize it as prose fiction (which is my preferred and most developed writing format) since 2011 and I believe I started two different short lived incarnations of it right here on Bulbagarden, and elsewhere.

    What I posted here and there received extremely generous feedback, I was even told by some readers that what little I had written brought them to tears. The writing was fully proficient, yet the story stalled, I just couldn't squeeze it out of my brain and the months passed and passed. I could see the entire story's beginning, middle, and end in my head but I just couldn't make it happen on page.

    Merely as casual practice for a Writing for Television course at college, after months of stagnation I took a swing at writing a screenplay version of my story, starting from scratch rather than adapting my previous prose incarnations of the project.

    I suddenly found that the writing flowed, and the story that I for years struggled to tell as prose flowed gorgeously as a television script.

    In a 25 page script representing a half hour TV episode, I swiftly covered the same material (and more!) which took 40 pages to write out as prose.

    Because everything is formatted as a professional TV script would be formatted, it was easy and enjoyable to read and understand, even to those personal friends I showed it to who weren't writers and didn't casually read television or film scripts.

    As the present time I have three episode scripts finished, and when I have a sufficient backlog, I'll begin publishing them here.

    So while it's not a generally well received format due script-like "chatfics" being used as a way to write in an "easy" manner, and while it's a long process to get the hang of, in the rare case that a story can't flourish as prose, the screenplay format is something to consider.

    If done properly, you shouldn't be "writing less" than if it were prose, just writing it all differently. You're still painting a picture and crafting images and words which should form a complete blueprint for a reader to be able to fully imagine what you have in your head.

    For anyone looking into it, I'd strongly recommend purchasing and reading a book about screenwriting, and to read many film and television scripts. Read scripts of episodes or movies you're familiar with, and also, read scripts for films you've never seen before, than watch the film and discover how what you read was realized.
    NoirGrimoir and vulcan539 like this.

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    Registered User blowsave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    The problem is that there's usually a huge difference between how screenplays are written and how script fics are written. You won't see a movie script formatted like this:

    ASH: Go Pikachu!

    (Pikachu wins the battle.)

    MISTY: Good job!

    Another thing is I don't think screenplays really lend themselves to the fan fiction format, for numerous reasons. Tons of white space, description isn't as important (which is fitting for movies/TV but lazy with fan fiction), reading it on a forum instead of as a PDF or printed script is annoying, etc.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    Quote Originally Posted by blowsave View Post
    ASH: Go Pikachu!

    (Pikachu wins the battle.)

    MISTY: Good job!
    Not going to lie, that really made me chuckle.

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    Registered User vulcan539's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    I would love to see a script/screen play format fan fic.
    Tho I think a radio play would be awesome, as you could take it a step further and actually make a radio play out of it.

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    Maybe I ought to dig up some episodes of my old variety show script fic "The Ash and Pikachu Show"
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    Registered User vulcan539's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    Quote Originally Posted by LightningTopaz View Post
    Maybe I ought to dig up some episodes of my old variety show script fic "The Ash and Pikachu Show"
    Please do, I wouldn't mind reading them.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    I'm definitely in the boat of being averse to script/chat/screenplay style fanfics. The thing about scripts and screenplays is that they are but one part of a larger production. They really are just "quick reference" for the actors involved to know what and when to say or do something.

    On the other hand, when you're writing a novel, the "script" (i.e. the actual draft) is the entire finished product. Yes, the author knows a lot of supplementary and ancillary details that may be noted elsewhere and not actually appear in the final draft, but the written equivalents of set/costume design, lighting and camera angles are part of the finished writing just as much (if not more so) as actual character dialogue is. Whereas a script is more or less distilled to just the dialogue and the other aspects of production are (literally) someone else's job.

    So you can't look at a script or screenplay in the same way as standalone writing, because they are completely different tools in nature and function.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    If you have enough content and wit to make one engaging, why not just write a conventional piece and reap the bonuses of that? Fanfiction.net readers are looking for fiction and won't make your script into an episode, so the reasons to use them are few.
    Last edited by Boreal; 10th May 2013 at 09:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    Yeah, the script format can often be abused so writers don't have to provide good details, like they would if they wrote normal prose. And most of the time I don't like script format at all. But there was this one story, in the Disney section of FF.net, called Haunted Mansion The TV Series. It was based on the movie, and it was written like a script for an actual TV show. And it was so funny and so interesting. The script style worked for it, it really did, probably because the author was aiming for something that would require a script.

    Since your goal is to write a fake-TV show, then the script format seems like it would work for you in this case. Just make sure to keep the dialogue interesting, and not just to write in a script style, with a character name followed by a line, but to make the whole thing look like it could really be a TV episode script. Put in descriptions in between the dialogue and other things, things that would help an actor get an idea of how to say their lines.

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    Bonded Forever Misty Calls Masquerain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    Script/Screenplay= I'm not reading it, I don't know why people write this crap. Chatspeak is a nono too.

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    Registered User reynard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    Yeah, chatspeak is 99% of the time a bad thing. But I remember a Disney-fic or two where it was the characters using a chatroom, and if you could make the dialogue entertaining, it could potentially work I suppose. That's the thing about writing, everything is supposed to have a purpose and work together to improve the story. Or, as I like to phrase it, "There is no appendix in a story!"

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    J'ai Envie De Toi AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Script/Screenplay fics

    Quote Originally Posted by reynard View Post
    Or, as I like to phrase it, "There is no appendix in a story!"
    I guess you haven't read the last two thirds of Return of the King. Tolkien begs to differ ;)

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