Complications Ensue:
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Monday, June 27, 2005

The combination of the cable modem being twenty yards away to the studio out back, and only slightly milder back pain than yesterday, means I have had a day mostly without internet. The good side of that is not frittering away my work time, though the treeware edition of The New York Times is almost as good for frittering. The bad are all the tedious little issues that I must either defer or ignore: can't download the right printer driver for the Photosmart 7350, can't look up when you should worry about a tetanus shot, can't use Screenwriter's online reference, what is Atasol and will it make me drowsy, and what exactly is the difference between a mangonel and an onager?

I finished the step outline for Medieval though. 40 scenes, more or less, which is probably about right. I would have preferred fewer but it doesn't feel like too much story; and it's the sort of slowly building thriller piece you can easily drop scenes out of.

I think this will be fun to write.

I'm slowly learning Screenwriter. I want to like it. But it is programmed differently -- for example the locations list is generated on the fly, so you can only eliminate a location from the popup list by removing it throughout the script. Pagination and scene numbering are likewise generated on the fly. The result is a program that takes a little getting used to. Final Draft feels more intuitive. On the other hand, Final Draft is full of annoying glitches. We'll see which I come out using once I've actually written a full script.

Which, if my better half really likes the outline, may be sooner rather than later.


Just wanted to say that I am enjoying your book a lot. The straight talk is such a nice change compared to most screenplay books. Your breakdown of the inciting incident is wonderful. I'm looking forward to finishing the second half.

When will you write one for TV drama?

By Blogger John Donald Carlucci, at 11:57 AM  

Thanks, John. I'm almost done with Crafty TV Writing. It will be published next February (such is the glacial pace of the publishing biz) by Henry Holt.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 3:44 PM  

What are your feelings on the use of "ing" in a script. A pretty hot debate has been brewing on Zoetrope concerning this issue.

By Blogger John Donald Carlucci, at 11:13 PM  

"Ing"? We're arguing about parts of speech now?

Style is style, I think. Everyone's got one. Depends on what you want to convey. "Ing" -- I have no idea what the debate is about, but "ing" denotes a continuing action.

Want to give us a link?

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 9:29 AM  

Here is a sample message from a long and heated debate concerning the use of "ing".

I'm asking you if this is an issue because this is the first I've heard of anyone having a problem (49 messages and counting) with this.

"In nearly every review I do, I have to bring up the 'ing' issue. There are rare tmes when it's okay to use it in a script, but basically, how I explain to people is that using ing verbs makes it sound like we're telling in a script what we're already seeing, instead of directing the actions, as writers are supposed to. We tell the actors what to do. It's our job. When using ing verbs, that's more of a commentary on things we're already seeing. That can be done on occasion to set up a scene so it's clear whether someone is already doing an action when the scene starts or not, but in some cases, it doesn't matter either way.

So I only use a rare ing verb when it's absolutely needed for clarity. I think it makes a script read a lot better to do it that way."

You have to join to view message board (free).

By Blogger John Donald Carlucci, at 10:36 AM  

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