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Script Frenzy 2011: A winner is me!

Like a crazy fool I decided to do ScriptFrenzy 2011, starting about two weeks out from the deadline. During the past 15 days, I have churned out exactly 100 pages of fiction in a script format, and today I finally verified my status as a two time Screnzy winner. Sweet.

Just a little bit about what I wrote. The working title of my script is simply BattleSuit (which seems to be the umbrella title for all of my mecha related ideas), it's a script for a mecha FPS that covers the first 12 missions out of an intended 36, with an additional bonus mission and three endings. The story and gameplay borrows ideas from Mobile Suit Gundam, Hellsing, and even Wing Commander and The Boys from Brazil. A plot synaposis might be as follows:

Hiroyoshi Musashi, an ordinary Japanese High School student and Otaku, accidentally becomes the pilot of a BattleSuit, a two storey tall armed robotic suit of armour. Together with his fellow pilots, the fiery and beautiful Karen McDonnell, the intelligent but twisted Kaya Mori, and the carefree Catgirl Android Neko, they fight under the command of Professor Musashi, Hiro's noble but perverted grandfather. Their enemy: the nefarious Mars based forces of the Fourth Reich, lead by Adolf III, the bratty teenaged clone of the notorious dictactor.

Not exactly high art, but I highly enjoyed it none the less. I'm mildly optomisitic the project may one day be filmable, or at least game-able.

Here's a few points that I wanted to share about my 2011 Screnzy experience.

1. It's not as hard as NaNoWriMo

Assuming you start right from the start of a month, you only need to write 3.3 pages per day. That's certainly not a ridiculous ask, once you've got real momentum going that may take less than half an hour per day.

Even though you need to write 100 pages of script, as far as actual word count goes that'll probably only add up to between a third and a half of the 50,000 words required for a NaNoWriMo victory.

If you have an idea for a screenplay inside of you, for anything - film, TV series, comic book, play, even video game - that just won't go away, you won't regret giving Screnzy a shot.

2. It's harder than NaNoWriMo

Well, in some regards at least. With script writing, you just can't bump up the page count with excessively elaborate descriptions of scenes. The plot, and dialogue, will move much faster so your mind needs to move faster with it.

3. Use a calendar

Divide up the target (100 pages, or 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo) by thirty, and then write the accumulating target for each day on a calendar. Cross it off when you've passed it. There's almost nothing more satisfying, and it keeps you focused and in perspective.

4. Don't worry about linear order so much

If you've ever thought about writing a script, then you've probably just imagined key climactic scenes without thinking too much about the bridging scenes that connect them.

If you're writing a script and you're thinking about those scenes the most - the ones most packed with action, drama, comedy and sex - write them first. You'll have more fun, write faster and it'll also be easier to see where the plotholes that connect the climactic scenes lie.

If you insist on writing in a linear order, you could reach 100 pages and the end of the month without getting to write those scenes, which would really suck.

5. Don't get hung up while writing

If you get to a scene where, for instance, you don't know how your character is going to respond to a question or an insult, or you don't know how to close off a scene in a plausible and satisfying scene, don't worry about it. Either wrap it up quickly or just continue anyway, it isn't worth losing momentum over.

In any case, the problem will be delegated to your subconcious, and you may have the solution next time you look at it.

6. Just have fun

Seriously. Don't worry about writing something artistic, which is next to impossible to achieve when you're writing the first draft of a script in a month. Just think up some characters with diametrically opposing personalities, drop them into interesting situations and then just sit back and watch. It's brilliantly entertaining.


Well, that's it for now!



Sam (not verified)

Awesome! I'm very very impressed and it certainly sounds like something I'd want to see (I'm particularly intrigued by the 'noble but perverted' grandfather :)).


This is even more impressive considering I've spent the last few days squeezing out a measly 8 pages of the script I'm writing.


Good tips.

Joined: 05/05/2009


Cobra's picture
Joined: 03/09/2011

Hey, you did it!


Whenever I read mecha FPS I remember my fond memories of Shogo: MAD.

Earok's picture
Joined: 02/06/2009

@Sam Cheers. The grandfather character is meant to be a play on the perverted old man archetype (It's strongly implied that he has a less than wholesome relationship with his creation, Neko). Eight pages across a few days isn't bad if it's something you're seriously intending to film though, and I expect what you've written is certainly very filmable.

@Arran Cheers.

@Cobra Cheers, I've never actually played Shogo but it's definitely along the lines of what I want to create (Though most of the combat takes place in outer space). I keep meaning to pick up a copy from Good Old Games once I have time to play something new.