by Peggy Bechko
Normally, I caution writers to keep a safe distance from the net for fear of flushing all their writing time down the dark hole of social media and/or just surfing to the point where they don’t actually write.
Today though, I’m just going to throw websites at you. Here’s my usual caution. First, they aren’t all related to screenwriting. We already know Larry Brody’s TVWriter.com is the best around for TV Writing. But, they’re writing related. Also, don’t get sucked into the web. Go, check out a site if it looks like it could be helpful to you, then get back to writing. Don’t let yourself get sucked into an all day info-search that only flushes that day away.
Okay, that said, here we go…
It leans heavily academic, but much of the advice can be adapted to any kind of writing. Many writers these days work in various venues, not a single one. So these resources could prove to be helpful.
For information and tips on writing a screen script which is, of course, different than writing a TV script or a novel or whatever. Anyway, it gives lots of tips and info and it’s up to you to sort it out and see what will help (or not) your writing.
And yes, if you click that link and actually buy a download for around $40, I’d get a few pennies in commission, but here’s the truth. I use Scrivener for lots of writing chores. It does have a screenwriting setting (I admit I don’t use that, but haven’t investigated it thoroughly either as I got hooked on Movie Magic’s Screenwriter). But it is there.
More importantly for me, Scrivener is a great software for many projects and can compile documents in a lot of different ways: a novel for Kindle publishing, a pdf, a screen script, and many others. It does have a learning curve that can be a bit overwhelming, but if you do some searches on YouTube there are a number of great instructional videos. And once I got it down it became a great help as documents can be easily imported, illustrations too, parts can be easily rearranged and, well, I just like it.
Check it out. You might like it too. And if you rummage around a bit you might find a free trial somewhere. Just be sure to allow time for that learning curve.
It has your basic dictionary and thesaurus. It also offers grammar tips and other language ideas that could be helpful like idioms, slang, your word of the day, words to avoid and a whole bunch more other tips regarding our language.
Our fearless leader, Larry Brody, is a poet as well as screenwriter.
Our fearless leader, Larry Brody, is a poet as well as a TV writer. I’m not saying he learned all he knows at Poetry.com, but if you’re new to that arena it’s definitely a place I’d recommend for getting your feet wet.
I’m not going to give you a whole bunch of links to writer’s organizations, but you know they’re out there. The Writer’s Guild of America West (or East) is a biggie we all know. But if you’re also writing in different fields almost every genre has an organization. National Writer’s Union, The Author’s Guild, Romance Writers, Mystery Writers, Science Fiction Writers, Children’s Book Writers, news associations… you get it. And no doubt you have the simple skills to do a search and find said organization for yourself. Just be imaginative with those keywords.
It’s kind of fun to wander sites like http://www.wesmirch.com/ They have all kinds of weird articles and gossip. Why would I want that particular content, you say? Well, the articles have led me to some great story ideas. And who doesn’t love a little dirt?
Okay? Done acquiring information and maybe wasting some valuable writing time? Ready to get back to it? Nothing stopping you here. Use the web wisely. It most certainly can be a friend.
Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her sensational career HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.