Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wow, it's amazing

Right now I am working on five different scripts - four shorts and one feature - all connected to a director.

All of them has not their finances quite in place and it is not certain that it will be five films, but still, it is quite a wow-feeling inside me when I realised what had happened the last two, three months. Lets hope I live up to it.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The invisible art of punctuation

For me writing is more than just the right choice of words. It is also a matter of how it is expressed, or “said” if you like, with punctuation. The use of dots and commas and colon is supposed to shape the sentence and give it life. To help you hear the text in your mind. Exactly as I intended it, of course.

A punctuation classic is “woman without her man is nothing”. Depending on your mood, or perhaps, rather your sex, you will likely do this: “Woman without her man, is nothing” or this: “Woman: without her, man is nothing”.

So, yes, where you put your commas matter. It is part of the expression and a vital art to your writing. For a screenwriter it is convenient to be able to add a “!” at the end of a line of dialog instead of stating the questionable “(yelling)” or even worse “(angry)” over it. Or a “…” to indicate doubt, though it is easy to… overdo it by… adding… too much… of it making it… unreadable… and direct too… much.

Now, here comes the funny thing: I thought that by adding these… things, these punctuation marks exactly where I wanted them, creating the pauses, at the precise moments where I wanted them, I thought I was adding a perfectly readable subtext for anyone reading it. Every writer know that the written language is full of limitations when it comes to expressing subtext as emotions. A “Yes, I know” could mean almost anything, really. Hence the use of :-) and such; which you of course cannot add in serious literature of any kind. Well, anyhow, I thought that those subtle “…” were completely understandable as a doubt; a hesitation for whatever reason. I thought even more so when it comes to texting, SMS-ing, chatting, those quick written conversations often clogged with yellow circles with different faces instead of actual words. To my surprise I got replies indicating that I could just as much have written “woman without her man is nothing” and leaving the interpretation to the other half of the conversation, because no matter how artful my punctuation was it was wasted here. (No, don’t worry, this person knows about this story, so this is not you.)

The person, who so easily missed my “…”, is a lover of stories and reads a lot. It is not a matter of lack of education, reading habits or brains.

I love music, but when it comes to anything but fundamental listening, I need a guidebook. Howard Shore told in a documentary about the music to the Lord of the Rings how he had used different types of flutes for the “Shire”-theme in the beginning and the end to express the change and growth. That was a detail that was wasted on me. I did only hear the difference when I played them after each other. My love for music is not less. My right to love music, no matter how little I know about what I’m hearing, stays the same.

The world is probably full of readers who don’t get my meaning of this! They still have the right to read and interpreter my texts. And I have no right to blame them if they don’t get it as I intended. I can only write the best I can, hoping that my writing gets through. Maybe the text doesn’t hit the chord I intended – most likely it doesn’t – but hopefully it hits some strings and finds any chord. Maybe the lovely art of punctuation and the knowledge of where to place a comma to find a pause in the right spot are wasted on most of the readers. But - and this is important, I think - is that even if it is so; even if only one in a million gets the point and sees the beauty; or the errors in your use, you should always write the best you can. Don’t do any less, ever.

It is the love of words that makes you a writer, not the love of the readers. In every art there is always something vital invisible to most beholders, something only visible in its absence.

Image from Pintest.
Click on it for more info.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Why this particular image?

Of all my pins on Pintrest, this is one repinned the most. It is not my image, but the story I have linked to in the description is.

On Pintrest I have a board called To these I have written a story. They are images I have found on Pintrest and felt inspired to write a story to. As I said, this is the most repinned of them all. Is it the story, or is it the image? I have no idea. The image is good, no doubt, but it is not that different from the images I have collected at the board Realm of Fantasy. Since it pops up repins from time to time it is likely people who searched for something and found this among others. What did they search for?

It is not without some annoyance I realize that unless someone tells me directly, I will never know if it is the image or the story that causes it to be so widely spread.

Image from Pintrest.
Click on it for more info.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Social interaction

Writing is the only time I feel safe
Writing is the only time I feel sane
I feel like I've come home when I write
I feel like I belong when I write

Every step away from writing makes me feel
And as odd man out. Out, out, out.

Every glitch in social interaction makes me want to flee
Every glitch in social interaction makes me want to hide
Social interaction is not personal
Social interaction is just me acting

I feel like I've come home when I write
I feel like I belong when I write
Writing is the only time I feel safe
Writing is the only time I feel sane

Image from Pintrest. Click on it for more info

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

GoKinema 2015 - A collection of links

GoKinema 2015, Open Set, Photo: Christian Holst

I just wanted to collect the different blog entries and articles about GoKinema 2015 and the movies made on my script "the Kill" on Open Set. Some written by me, some by others.

The original script "The Kill"

The article on Go Into The Story.

The article on Voodoo Film (in Swedish)

My blog entry about the event.

GoKinema's News entry.

Dick Pope visits Gothenburg (in Swedish).

An article on Imago.

Note on ISA.

Blog entry at Garn Creations (in Swedish)

"The Kill" on (film from day 1)

"The Pros" on (film from day 2)

Watch The Pros here

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Using Scrivener for writing screenplays

These days I try Scrivener for writing screenplays. No, I am not a friend of Final Draft. I have used it and liked it, but it was expensive and there were tools for free doing the same thing and more. So, I dived into Celtx. I enjoyed the desktop version of Celtx very much, but now they have gone online and what I liked with Celtx is no longer there.

When working on a screenplay, well any longer text really, you do a lot of things beside the actual final text. I do mindmaps, write about the characters, do loglines, synopsis, outlines and collects links, images, articles and other stuff. In desktop Celtx you could collect all these things in one project file, which for me was exactly what I needed. No more flipping between writing program and folders and browsers.

When Celtx went online all those things vanished in a smoke. Then I began my search for a new tool and found Scrivener. For some reason, I hadn’t thought about special programs for writing novels. I had always written these things in MS Word. First I transformed my current novel project into Scrivener and I became deeply in love. I read that the program had a rather big start-up time for a newbie, so I took my time and didn’t give up to figure things out, knowing that if it was such a good program as the reviewers said it would be, the things I wanted to do should be doable. And they were.

A few transformed writing projects later, I continued with trying its movie scripts functions. All the good things about Scrivener are still there of course. I can collect my files in one place, I can link to things, all the things I could do in Celtx, only better here. But, and this is a very large but, the screenplay exported out from Scrivener needs to be checked carefully and if it is a long script it will be difficult and tiresome to get it good. You see, the program has no clue to keep a character and the following dialog together in one piece. There are no functions for keeping one format together with the next. And delivering a file with the character’s name at the bottom of the page and the dialog on top of the next is not very impressive. On the contrary, it is what Noriaki Kano would call a unfulfilled basic requirement, and basic requirements are those that the customer expects to be there, which does not make the customer happy, but only unsatisfied if it is not there; like you expect a car to have four wheels. When it comes to writing movie scripts this car – Scrivener – misses a wheel.

I still use Scrivener for writing screenplays though. I like the rest of the program and after all there is hope that this glitch, this unfulfilled basic requirement, will be corrected in time. Otherwise I will have a boring and frustrated time adding an empty row here and there, which I can survive if it comes to that.