Tag Archives: story

Day 19: Script Progress: Act Two: Part One

Today I started on Act Two.

If you’ve been following my blog then you know that I actually split Act Two into four different parts for organizational sakes. I’m not sure you’d be able to tell that I did this when you actually see the movie unfold since this is more of a behind-the-scenes move.

The first two parts are about ten pages each, the last two parts are about twenty pages each. Today I took the first part, sat down, and wrote the whole thing. This means that in terms of page counts, today was my most productive. Now I was able to do this because it was a small chunk out of a much larger act.

I’m hoping to do the same tomorrow with Part Two of Act Two. I’m hoping then that Part Three and Part Four of Act Two will each take 2 days to write.

Overall:

Pages: 43/120 (35.83%)

Scenes: 31/81 (38.27%)

Acts: 1/3 (33.33%)

Act Two:

Pages: 12/68 (17.65%)

Scenes: 9/47 (19.15%)

Parts: 1/4 (25.00%)

Part One:

Pages: 12/12 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Two:

Pages: 0/11 (0%)

Scenes: 0/9 (0%)

Part Three:

Pages: 0/28 (0%)

Scenes: 0/17 (0%)

Part Four:

Pages: 0/18 (0%)

Scenes: 0/12 (0%)

Day 18: Script Progress: Act One (Part Five)

Today I finished Act One of my script.

I guess now is a good time to talk about the atmosphere I create as I write my script. There are three very important aspects to make sure that I have a good, productive time writing: music, smoothie, and isolation. Why do I need all three? I’m not entirely sure but I do have some theories.

The isolation is probably a very key part of my own writing process. A lot of writers like to go to coffee shops or other public places to write. I’ve tried this. I’ve gone to Coffee Beans, Starbucks, and other places to try writing there. I was able to get some work down but only if I knew exactly what I was going to write ahead of time. If there were any scenes that I was still trying to figure out how they were going to work, I wouldn’t be able to write them. It turns out that isolation provides me with a huge opportunity: the ability to talk to myself without anyone judging me.

Why do I need to talk to myself? I don’t know but hearing my thoughts out loud allow me to process them far better than if I kept them in my brain. I can also voice out dialogue to try to see if this is something an actual human being would say naturally. I also read parts of the script out loud to make sure that it sounds good. I can do all of that in isolation. When I’m in a public place? Not as much. In isolation I can also blast out my music. I’m not a big fan of headphones so being able to play it out loud is ideal.

I need music because I can’t write in total silence or just hearing my own voice. I don’t know why but I feel like music keeps me focused on what I’m writing. I’m less inclined to procrastinate. This might be because music is stimulating my brain’s desire to consistently absorb content even though it’s creating content. As to the kind of music I listen? I use Pandora. I could use other music services but I favor Pandora because it’s the one I’m used to. It works, I’m happy with it, so why try something else?

I actually shuffle to play from all my music stations: a classical radio station, a film scores radio station, a Beatles (or classic rock) radio station, and a Red Hot Chili Peppers radio station. They play music I like and they can get me excited about the scene I’m in. Trust me, there’s nothing better while writing than listening to an epic song from Lord of the Rings.

Finally, the fruit smoothie is just delicious. Technically I can write without having one but I find that if I have a smoothie on hand, I’m less likely to go to my fridge and get a bottle of Coke. Which is not only unhealthy for me but also takes away time that I could be spending writing.

Progress on the Script:

Overall:

Pages: 30/120 (24.79%) – About a quarter of the way done with the script!

Scenes: 22/81 (27.16%)

Acts: 1/3 (33.37%)

Act One: DONE

Pages: 30/30 (100%)

Scenes: 22/22 (100%)

Next week I’ll begin work on Act Two!

Day 17: Script Progress: Act One (Part 4)

Today script writing progress slowed down by a bit. While I only got one scene done, it was a pretty big one.

As I said yesterday, you have to do your best to write every single day but there are days when it’s going to be difficult. Some days it’ll be difficult just because you’ve already had a long day being productive like yesterday. Then there are other days where it’ll be more difficult because life happens. Today was one of those days.

Life happened. Progress on the script slowed.

Progress on the Script:

Overall:

Pages: 23/120 (18.70%)

Scenes: 15/81 (18.52%)

Acts: 0/3 (0.00%)

Act One:

Pages: 23/30 (69.70%)

Scenes: 15/22 (68.18%)

Day 16: Script Progress: Act One (Part 3)

The biggest tip I can give anyone who wants to be a writer is that it doesn’t matter how much you don’t want to do it, you have to sit down and just write. If you know what you are going to write then do that. If you don’t, then write whatever comes to your mind.

I say this because I spent a lot of the day being very busy that when I finally had a chance to work on my script, I really tried to convince myself to just save the work until tomorrow. My brain tries to tell me that nobody is paying me to do this, I’m not doing this for anyone else, I’m not accountable.

That’s a huge lie. There is one person I’m accountable to: myself. If I fail to write today then I am failing myself. I am failing to meet one of my commitments to this project and I am failing at working on my craft professionally. I might not have a set deadline per se but I must be able to show progress every day.

If you can’t even be accountable to yourself then how can you be accountable to others? If you can’t write every day then how can you hope to meet set deadlines? Getting in the habit now is crucial.

So I sat down and I wrote the scenes I wanted to write today:

Progress on the Script:

Overall:

Pages: 20/120 (16.26%)

Scenes: 14/81 (17.28%)

Acts: 0/3 (0.00%)

Act One:

Pages: 20/30 (60.61%)

Scenes: 14/22 (63.64%)

I’m almost two-thirds of the way through Act One.

Day 15: Script Progress: Act One (Part 2)

In just two days, I’m almost half-way done through Act One! That’s pretty good progress. At this point, every character has had at least one significant scene that helps introduce who they are and lays out the groundwork for their character arc throughout the story. On top of that, I am slowly building up to the inciting incident that pushes us into the actual story.

Oh, and the pictures I’m choosing at this stage are small little clues as to what I’m writing-it could be a small reference I made or an actual plot point. Good luck trying to figure them out though!

Progress on the Script:

Overall:

Pages: 13.5/120 (11.07%)

Scenes: 10/81 (12.35%)

Acts: 0/3 (0.00%)

Act One:

Pages: 13.5/30 (42.19%)

Scenes: 10/22 (45.45%)

Day 13: Boy Rangers and CeltX

Today I did two things.

Fictional Organization Names

The first was chose the name for my scouting organization. Believe it or not, you can’t just put the boy scouts in the movie because the organization owns the trademark. Since it was doubtful they would accept my movie, I had to come up with a name for a similar scouting organization so that nobody thinks the Boy Scouts of America had anything to do with my movie. Let me make it clear in this blog post: I am not affiliated with that organization nor is Eternal Camping an official boy scout film. There is no relationship between me and the BSA.

So I decided to think about what to name them. Since this is set in Texas and the characters are all named after Texas cities and/or towns, I decided to keep the Texas influence alive. What’s one of the most famous Texas organizations out there? The Texas Rangers. Inspired by their name, I decided to name my fictional scouting organization after them (once again the Texas Rangers are not affiliated with his project at all). The name I went with is: Boy Rangers. I checked with a couple of organizations online and as far as I can tell nobody owns the rights to that name.

It’s not a completely original name (it used to be an actual organization at some point and Colombia used it in a couple of their films) but I feel like it fits Eternal Camping in a way no other name could.

CeltX

The second thing I did is create the CeltX project file for Eternal Camping. Once I had a project, I started doing some housekeeping. I created a title page. A small step but it’s one that makes the project come alive in a way that it hadn’t before. The title page doesn’t just tell you who wrote it or what the script is called: it is a proclamation of the project’s existence.

If you aren’t familiar with the Celtx software then you know there is a master catalog that is supposed to help you keep track of everything. What is useful in the writing phase is that it keeps track of characters. It automatically creates characters as you write them but you can also do it ahead of time. Anytime you start to write dialog for the character, it’ll give you the option to auto-complete which I’ve found to be very useful. So I went ahead and created manual character templates.

Finally, CeltX also offers a nifty Index Card feature. Each scene gets its own card and you can manually re-organize the whole script this way: it automatically shifts any scenes you may or may not have written yet in the script. It also allows me to provide an area of “notes” which I use to summarize what happens in that scene. When actually writing the scene, I can also easily see what the scene is about on the left side of the screen. So what I did today was take all of the scenes from the plot outline and put them in there.

Now I’ll still be checking the plot outline to ensure I’m on track generally with page counts and because it has other useful information. The index card feature merely complements the plot outline.

Summary

So the script writing phase begins with me doing technical work on the CeltX side and choosing the name of a fictional scouting organization. On Monday, I’ll write the first scenes. I don’t know about you but I’m excited!

Day 11: Act Two, Part Four (Plot Outline)

Today I finished the fourth and final part of Act Two in the plot outline. I’m going to admit that when I began the plot outline, I was a little bit worried that I wouldn’t have enough material for a second act. The good news is this wasn’t the case. Every scene has to advance a character arc, the main arc, and/or a relationship between characters in order to be in the script. Turns out that I had plenty of scenes from my six characters that I could include. In fact, Act Two is estimated to come out at 67.5 pages when I was aiming for 60 pages!

I might have to cut some of those scenes out but I’m hesitant to do that at this moment. I’ll wait and see.

Tomorrow: I’ll do all of Act Three in the plot outline!