As I mentioned in the last update I’ve been writing a Sitcom script for a university assessment. Whilst something I am brand new to, I have found that it has improved my writing for other projects and helped with writers block. As such I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on why I’ve found it helpful.
The answer that most readily presents itself is Variety. For the entirety of the time I have been writing I have shied away from scripts. They didn’t interest me, I wasn’t familiar with the format and was a little scared of trying new territory for university assessments. Here are my mistaken assumptions about script writing:
- Formatting scripts is hard. It’s not. There is free software out there that does that part for you. All you need is to do a little basic reading around the rules/conventions of the form and you’re good to go. (I’ve been using WriterDuet and have found it helpful and intuitive)
- You need to know about camera angles, shots etc… You don’t. In fact I’ve been happily informed by my tutors that this is not my job. I am there to write the characters, set the scene and then the director should it ever make it to the development stage. There are a few notable exceptions, such as highlighting if someones face shouldn’t be visible, if you are writing a mystery or making sure that whispered dialogue isn’t heard by the audience etc.
- I couldn’t write engaging characters. (This ones a more personal fear.) What I’ve found is that script writing has improved my characters in other projects. Why? I think it’s because writing dialogue as my primary form of communication without worrying overly about body language has made my dialogue tighter, given my insults more barb and my humour more levity. This has been a great help as my biggest struggle as a writer has been prioritising concept over character.
So yeah, the change of pace has loosed the creative flood, broken my writers block and I believe taught me a great deal about writing effective dialogue and utilising comedic timing. I’m actually considering turning one of my stories into a script and working on building it into a TV series.
So what are your thoughts on script, have you ever written one? Got any helpful tips and tricks for someone working on their first? Put them in the comments section below I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading