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LukePierce
08-11-2014, 11:58 AM
This popped into my mind as I was scribbling down some ideas for a space opera that's been niggling at me for about 5 years now.
In between writing them down and the recent resubmission of my last script, I realised that there are a couple of quirks that I seem to have developed in the intervening decade.

1) This is a doozy, I sometimes have caught myself writing "soundtracks" when describing a panel. What I mean is that I haven't composed a song, tweaked some lyrics and put out some incomprehensible garbage for some poor artist to decipher; what I've actually done is that I've tried to put a soundtrack to the type of mood that I want to set.

For example, Axe had the bow-chika-wow-wow campaign going, but if you go back a couple of decades further, it was a hook used in a lot of quite terrible 70s shows (and my, how it dates the action). But if you're trying to evoke an era, it's actually quite brilliant. There's also not necessarily a lot of shows uploaded onto various media sites, so having something that can be said out loud can also help.

Whether this can happen professionally? Probably not. Referencing those kind of soundtracks? Could prove an artistic distraction, so I aim to cut that kind of thing out where I can, or use more contemporary or well known "music" to try and convey that mood and atmosphere.

2) Not such a bad quirk, but I've developed a lot of love for Annexes and using bookmarked hyperlinks. If I'm mentioning a major character for the first time, they'll be in the Annex. Same with locations, they get their own annex. What I'll also try and include is a lot of reference information within those annexes as well. This generally keeps the script a lot "cleaner", but if I do need to include a one time reference to something, then it won't get lost.


So, I ask you, what writing quirks do you have?

Luke Noonan
08-16-2014, 09:18 AM
I used to have both those quirks, to an extent, but I learned to lose them - musical references work in screenplays and play scripts but in a literary medium they're irrelevant, IMO, unless you're actually writing the lyrics as background speech/SFX and/or they have direct relevance to what's happening in the story. I'm sure there's some experimental exceptions to this in which a comic could take the form of a narrative/visual rap or ballad and words and pictures have a rhythm or beat as you read them, but when generally writing scripts, there is no place for any kind of soundtrack, IMO. I don't even listen to music to get into creative mood so much any more, I usually don't need it.
As for hyperlinks, yes, my scrips used to be full of them, but now I just have a character sheet/s (with phyiscal descriptions and visual references for characters) a visual reference sheet/s (for anything in the script needing a visual cue like a real-life building, vehicle etc) and then the script. Nothing else.
Improving for me meant losing most of my creative 'quirks' and habits and just stream-lining the writing process.