In April, It’s All About the Script (Frenzy), Part Deux

Friday, April 23, 2010
by Jill Earl

I’m approaching the homestretch for Script Frenzy, the annual event where you write a 100-page script during April. This is my first go-around with the challenge, and learning about scriptwriting and filmmaking are part of my writing goals for this year. I decided to try my hand at adapting a short story I wrote a couple of years ago into a romantic comedy screenplay, and was inspired by a critique received from an editor at a conference I attended some time ago. I generally shy away from romance as a genre, although I do like the occasional romantic comedy.

I prepped for the month by filling out worksheets, reacquainting myself with my characters, getting accustomed to the scriptwriting software I’d be using, practicing some writing, figuring out a writing schedule, and visiting the forums to get acquainted with some of the other participants. April started and the race was on.

Receiving emails from fellow participants and industry professionals has been a great encouragement for me, especially when I was trying to figure out where to begin writing my script. I came across a couple of articles where some writers were struggling with the same issue. One started their script at the end and worked backward, another started in the middle. For me, working out of sequence on various sections of my script has been the answer, and the writing has been coming along.

Then some of my characters decided to go their own way. One of the men, Dominic, decided he didn’t like the name I gave him, so he changed it to Damien. Fortunately, I agreed with his choice. Next, my protagonist’s best friend couldn’t decide whether she wanted a dog or a man, and then dyed her hair a very strange green to celebrate Earth Day. I couldn’t help her with the man-dog decision, but I made her turn her hair back to the original color. And somehow, some killer hamsters were planning to roam the city in little gangs. Um, no, not this story. Once I cracked the whip, they all got back in line, and I’m pushing through.

Recently, I did some training to be a camera operator for a project a local non-profit will be filming. For me, the process will be a great opportunity to witness the script to film process first-hand. And to continue developing my scriptwriting skills, I’m looking into taking WOW’s upcoming screenwriting course by Christina Hamlett.

I’m not certain I’ll finish on the last day with those 100 pages, but the keys will keep tapping in this marathon. I pinky swore on that one. Even better, there’s a long weekend retreat waiting at the end of this endeavor, and there will be dark chocolate.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to head back into the Frenzy.


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