Monday, March 29, 2010


In April, It’s All About the Script

by Jill Earl

Novelists have NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Bloggers have NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. The start of April later this week brings the fourth annual Script Frenzy for the aspiring scriptwriter.

Script Frenzy is a free international writing event where participants are challenged to write 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April, experience not required. No prizes are offered, but every writer that finishes receives a winner's certificate and accompanying web icon to proclaim your achievement. Any type of script is eligible: screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, comic book and graphic novel scripts, adaptations of novels, radio scripts, whatever gets you scribbling.

Like its siblings above, entrants won’t be left adrift. Start with the ‘Writer’s Resources’ page to begin your pre-Frenzy prep with how-to guides and worksheets to map out your writing. Move on to the the ‘Writing Software’ page for advice on selecting the proper one for your needs. Peruse ‘Cameos’ for articles by industry experts. To get the juices flowing, hit the Plot Machine for script ideas like this one: “After waiting in line for a Wii, a near-sighted chemist must stop the space-time continuum.”

And when the Frenzy begins, don’t forget checking out the forums to network, ask questions, offer answers, see what’s up in your specific genre, discuss the latest tools of the trade, and many other activities.

There's still time to sign up. The festivities begin 12:00:01 a.m. April 1 and end no later than 11:59:59 p.m. April 30.

Script Frenzy’s tagline asks, “30 days. 100 pages. April. Are you in?”

I sure am. Let’s see how this baby turns out.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008


I Support the Writers' Strike, But. . .

I support the writers' strike. I do. And not only because I am a writer, and I know how hard it is to make any money. I have followed the strike a bit, and after signing my own book contract for the first time recently, I realize how every penny counts. Every right that you give away to a publishing or production company counts. Let's face it, without writers, without a lot of you that are reading this blog, all the magazines, newspapers, blogs, Web sites, books, TV shows, and movies we love wouldn't exist. These works become a part of our daily lives. They enter our dreams, our dinner discussions, even our blogs. Even reality TV shows need writers. Someone has to write Survivor host Jeff Probst's brilliant questions and explanations of the competitions. Have you seen him ad lib as a guest host on Regis and Kelly?

But the reason I bring up this strike today is one of the best television shows that I have watched in a long time is in trouble. I don't watch very much TV, and I TIVO everything I want to watch to save time on commercials. Anyway, I'm not sure if it's all because of the writers' strike or if it is not getting the ratings it needs (although it really should. REALLY, please read on.) Women's Murder Club (ABC), which is based on James Patterson's book series, is an excellent show. It caught my interest one day when I was home and vegging out, watching some daytime TV. Angie Harmon, who stars in the show, was on the publicity circuit and on The View. As soon as I heard it was based on Patterson's novels, I was interested. Even if you don't want to admit it, most writers DREAM of someone calling them and saying, "Uh, yeah, we would really love to turn your book into a TV SHOW or even a MOVIE." Come on, admit it, don't you want to see your characters live on screen? Patterson is with the creative process all the way with this series, which makes it even better in my opinion.

Angie Harmon described the show as a cross between Law and Order and Sex in the City (also a book.) It is that and more. If you haven't caught an episode, go to and watch one-- in your spare time, of course. I don't want you to use my advice on this blog as an excuse for not meeting those writing goals you set on January 1. Study the characters, the dialogue, the storyline. What makes me care so much about Lindsay Boxer (Angie Harmon's character?) I don't know, but I want to figure it out, so I can put the same kind of care and skill into creating my main character for my YA novel. Patterson, my hats off to you!

I support the writers' strike. I do. But I want my show back. I don't want the writers to give in. I want them to get fair treatment. I want them to get all the residuals they deserve. I also want all the writers for Women's Murder Club back at their laptops with their coffee and telling me what is going to happen with the Kiss Me Not Killer!

Maybe I should look at this positively. I will have more time to reach my own New Year's writing goals without this series on air. I will have more time to read Patterson's novels, too. But, I'm sure many of you feel this way about your own shows. Let us know. Everyone needs the chance to vent, and here's a place to do it. Happy writing!

Margo Dill

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