Scriptwriting on my mind

When I was in college and university, I was active in the theatre groups and did time on stage myself, but what has always appealed to me was script-writing. This is evident in my everyday writing as I tend to have strong dialogues in my stories.

But I have always been hesitant in making the leap from writing articles and stories to scripts. A leap to some but to me, its like the cow jumping over the moon.

Yet, it has been on my mind lately. So the question I posing here is, how do one make the leap into script-writing in general and also for the Malaysian market?

Post your answers in the comments.

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Mind your Prose – the voice in creative writing.

I often find myself telling those wishing to embark on creative writing to find their “voice” and often times they think it means to find their own style in writing. This is true to a certain degree because it is always good (or better) to have your own distinct style. But what I am referring to is something called Prose.

Prose comes from the Latin prosa which translates to “straight-forward”. Prose in creative writing points to the telling of the story. The narrative voice of the writer. The use of words, the structuring of words in a sentence and the conveying of ideas in the most straight forward of means.

To find your own unique prose or “voice”, take time to listen to how you converse with people. Take note of how you convey your point to those that you talk to. Listen to the use of your words and sentencing. The way you pause your sentence and stress a word or play down an emphasis. Now, take that and put it to paper. That is your prose, your voice in a literal setting.

It will take practice and the tussle between proper writing conventions and keeping your own distinct style will always linger in your mind. Yet, choose to stick to what makes you sound authentic as a writer.

Creative writing as oppose to technical or poetry is less formal. The fact that you can run away from formal conventions makes it creative.

Listen to your speech and adopt that as your prose, your voice as you put to words what dances upon the stage of your creative mind.

In order to write, start writing.

A dear friend called me up and told me, she couldn’t seem to get into the “groove” for writing. There always seems to be a distraction that throws her off writing. I┬ásympathize with her because she has come across something writers all over face.

The dreaded, “How to start writing?” or “I need the feel of writing”┬ácondition.

It’s not writer’s block, because you do have an idea of what you want to write and accomplish. Yet, how do you get into the “groove” or “feel” of writing.

Just start writing. Write. Anything. Just write anything that comes to mind. Pick up a piece of paper and write. Even if it’s a shopping list. Just write. Doodle if you need to but you need to jump-start the coordination between thought-fingers-words. You need to form that connection again.

This is why, in the lull between writing my books, I post blog entries (twice a day – when possible) or contribute articles to a news portal. The whole idea is to keep on writing something, even if it’s a short piece. I want to keep the connection between my mind-fingers-words constantly open and ever ready to produce sentences.

Of course you have to couple this with reading. Read as much as you can and then write and keep on writing on a regular basis.

This is the only way I can think off to jump back into the groove. The longer you have been out of the groove, the harder it seems. But the moment you are in the groove, you tend to stay there until you decide to slack and jump out of it.

So start writing my friend.

Would you still love, even when you know you’ll lose?

This thought has been bouncing about in my head. Is there a definate answer to this question or should it be relegated to mystery limbo?

I do have some initial thoughts on it but I really want to hear from you guys. So do leave a comment and we’ll have a healthy discussion.

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A diary can help develop your writing


Keeping a diary supports personal development.

I have kept a diary since I was twelve years old. During my already mentioned sabbatical in the year 2000, besides the many things I completed, I also found more time for diary writing.
My handwriting has deteriorated into such a scrawl over the years, with whole sections-written down during excited periods-too difficult to decipher, that I switched from writing in handwritten journals to typing on my laptop. I do use the diary to go back and reread certain passages, to see what my thinking was, and, most importantly, to discover things I feel need changing: When I have repeatedly described a circumstance or character trait of mine that I dislike, I eventually wind up doing something about it.

Source: Keeping a Diary Supports Personal Development

I came across Stefan Sagmeister’s blog when reading through Gina Trapani article on LifeHacker and cannot agree more.

It is always good to keep a notebook around to record down the things that come to mind, Christopher Schanck said it well when he blogged, “Methods of Work: It Didn’t Happen If You Didn’t Write It Down.”

Keeping a diary requires some effort but rewarding. It allows us to explore our own emotions and thoughts, helps us develop our voice and allow us to have a mirror into our view point of the world around us.

A diary may take the form of a notebook or written into a journaling software on your notebook or in the form of a blog. The main point is to use it as a tool to develop your writing. It also helps you keep track of your growth as a writer.

It is not uncommon for a writer to be surprised by their own writings. To exclaim, “Did I really write that?” and take pride in the fact, that you have grown.

Give it a try, start writing a diary. Who knows? That diary could be the next best seller.

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Plot driven or character driven?

Which is the proper way to write a story? Have it plot driven or character driven?

My answer to this is..the question is wrong.

Write a story properly and whether it is plot driven or character driven, falls on the wayside. But in my opinion, the genre of story would determine if you should be plot driven or character driven.

A good writer can write in any genre they so choose but they can only be masters in one genre at the time. Thus, they become focus to a particular approach to writing a story.

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Creative writing doesn’t have to be creative.

I once sat with an aspiring writer and listened as he talked about writing. I kept quiet and allowed him to put forward his view on how one should write a book. And from what I gather from him, I was of the opinion he had it all wrong.

A story has to be out of this world, he said. I rolled my eyes.

A story does not have to be outlandish or spectacular. This is a common mistake newbies make when they approach creative writing. They think that the plot has to be totally wild and ideas centered upon things no-one has thought of. So they spend their time trying to find ideas to out-do the one before.

Unfortunately, creative writing is about the art of writing, where one is able to tell a story in the most creative of ways. It’s the style.

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