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annehart

annehart

Adapt and expand your play or script to a novel or short story series

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You also may wish to see my book, Social Smarts Strategies That Earn Free Book Publicity: Don't Pay to Market Your Writing, by Anne Hart, published March 28, 2006.

 

Here's what to do with that extra copy of your movie script or stage play--expand it into a novel or a series of short stories. Just as many people adapt their stories or novels into movie scripts or stage and/or audio plays, a script or play can be expanded into a novel or a collection of short stories. Use the dialogue and work around the gestures, behavior, and emotional tag lines of how the characters say what they mean by fleshing out your script into a novel. You'd insert more descriptions around the dialogue and more action and behavior around the words.

 

Turning a play into a script or a script into a multicultural play, or adapting a novel or an interview into a true story documentary video give the works additional markets. Sacramento makes an excellent setting for a play since this is a diverse community with many approaches to various ethnic-related plays, skits, or scripts that can be expanded into novels or condensed into short stories or monologues. Another form is the dialogue between two characters in a play or skit.

 

Your city's setting also can be used for a play, script, or documentary about local government or Sacramento history. You have numerous libraries here full of archived history and related topics, such as found in museums.

 

But a playwright or scriptwriter's most tedious style-related chore is trying to keep the columns and scenes aligned when what writers want to do is emphasize content. Also check out this author's instructional books with sample play, monologue, and other materials, Ethno-Playography: How to Create Salable Ethnographic Plays, Monologues, & Skits from Life Stories, Social Issue, by Anne Hart (Jul 27, 2007).

 

Or see the book, Who's Buying Which Popular Short Fiction Now, & What Are They Paying?: How to Write, Customize, & Sell Tales Online, by Anne Hart (September 20, 2007).

 

 

How this author solved this problem several years ago when adapting my novels or short stories to plays and scripts is to use and highly recommend Final Draft Scriptwriter’s Suite. The software contains Final Draft, professional scriptwriting software for writing my plays or dramatic scripts, and also Final Draft A/V for audio-visual or documentary script writing—for my nonfiction scripts.

 

The old version this author still used was released in September 2005 of Final Draft A/V contains a new function called Rearrange. Think of Rearrange as having super-strength Drag’n Drop capability. If you're interested, look for the latest versions of the software. You can check out later versions of such types of software.

 

What this author likes about this software is that each paragraph stays aligned as you keyboard the words on your computer. When I write my documentary scripts that require one column for video and another column for audio, the software automatically puts each paragraph in the correct place.

 

For example, when you add or subtract text from a Video paragraph, the matching paragraph in the audio column automatically stays in the correct place of alignment. So you don’t have to repaginate manually or change the paragraphs to make them fit right in the columns.

 

They’re placed where they should be. There’s no time lost having to retype anything just to line up the columns or scenes.

 

The Scriptwriter’s Suite works with either Windows or Macintosh. This author used it with Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office Professional, but you also can use it with Windows. Look for the latest version. Not only is the software well-suited to writing scripts or plays, but also excellent for writing and formatting presentations and advertising copy as well as TV or film scriptwriting and for writing and formatting theatrical stage plays or radio drama.

 

The software is really the best you’ll find for scriptwriting or playwriting. It’s an industry standard used by many academy-award winning scriptwriters and their staffs

 

What the professionals are saying about the software is that it’s intuitive. While you’re writing, you can imagine your movie or documentary in script form. To write documentary scripts, you have to think in cinematic terms, and the last distraction you want is to think how to format your script, aligning those columns of description, effects, and dialogue.

 

According to the eight different quotes from movie industry professionals on the back of the box of Final Draft Scriptwriter’s Suite (which includes Final Draft and Final Draft AV), the software lets you focus on being filmmakers, video producers, advertising copywriters, news correspondents, presentation writers, or scriptwriters.

 

When a movie industry professional’s entire staff uses Final Draft, or a TV news correspondent needs to format two columns, one for audio and one for video, or a playwright requires a format appropriate for stage plays, they all need software that makes it easy to format scripts as the writing, imagination, and organization of words take place. The back-of-box quotes come from eight professional and/or academy award-winning film, TV, news, and advertising industry celebrities such as Tom Hanks, JJ Abrams, Alan Ball, Anthony Minghella, James Moll, Ted McCagg, Jon Crowley, and Andy Field.

 

The careers of these celebrities include scriptwriter, actor, producer, director, senior copywriter (advertising), and TV news correspondent. What entertainment, news, and advertising professionals look for in boxed and/or downloadable software for writers is flexibility.

 

Scriptwriters and producers want the ability to use the software for writing news, advertising copy, stage plays, radio drama, narration, two-column documentaries for reality TV, and industrial/educational/corporate training documentaries, as well as the ability to format dramatic film scripts for entertainment. Industry professionals look for a suite of software packaged in one box that does all of the above.

 

When this author wrote scripts back in 2005, this author used Final Draft Scriptwriter’s Suite to turn this author's numerous published novels into stage plays or scripts for documentaries or radio. This author switched to this software because what was needed required multiple formats and templates.

 

This software offers ease of formatting and flexibility. Final Draft Scriptwriter’s Suite evolves and is supported. When writing scripts and plays a few years ago, one particular need was for software that formats in two-columns for my nonfiction documentaries, but the need arose to switch to cinematic formatting style for stage plays and radio or TV scripts, copywriting, or news (in a niche area) and for instructional books on how to write plays, skits, and monologues from life stories, current events, or news.

 

Of all the script software tried by this author, Final Draft Scriptwriter’s Suite is this author's choice because with it, the writer doesn't have to do any manual work setting up different formats for cinematic scripts, stage plays, radio, documentary style, or advertising copy. This author also likes the choice of template styles. That's another reason for this personal choice back then for this author during the script writing years.

 

What are your scriptwriting needs in formatting software? Do you write presentations, videos, advertising, theatrical plays, or scripts for TV and film?

 

The software called Final Draft Scriptwriter’s Suite (includes Final Draft and Final Draft AV) and has the Microsoft and Mac stamp of approval on the box. You also can buy Final Draft or Final Draft AV by itself.

 

The cross-platform compatibility gives you powerful features for scriptwriting and production. Why I highly recommend this software is because it makes scriptwriting easier to manage. Movie and TV industry professionals helped create this software suite.

 

You can watch the shows that the software helped to align and manage

 

Why this outstanding software is used by most people in the movie and TV industry is that the software understands the correct formats for screenplays, stage plays, sitcoms, advertising, and documentary videos. The biggest problem for scriptwriters is not creativity block, but actually wondering how to lay out the words on the page in the correct format.

 

The cross-platform compatibility allows scripts written on a Windows format to be read and edited on a Mac format or vice versa using identical file formats. First Draft Scriptwriter’s Suite uses a ‘Panels’ system that allows you to view your script, its outline and index cards simultaneously.

 

What was liked and highly recommend about this software is the unlimited revisions and page-locking mode. You can view, edit, or discuss our script with numerous people using the Internet. Look at reports and use the word processing that shown to you as “what you see is what you get.”

 

Another feature is “Ask the Expert.” Use it as a guide if you need a question answered on your story development, character, plot or structure. You also can get help from each Final Draft window and most dialogue boxes. There’s also a user guide.

 

Another application called Tagger-The Final Draft Breakdown utility allows you to tag separate elements of a script. Various scheduling programs often require a script breakdown. So you can tag each element you break down to fit your individual scheduling program need.

 

When using my Final Draft AV software, for documentaries, what I like about this suite is that audio visual industry professionals designed this software—just as movie industry professionals designed Final Draft for movie scripts, plays, and advertising.

 

Final Draft A/V (audio-visual) makes those dual-column, audio-visual scripts format. The script templates and the powerful word processing make the application easy to use.

What was liked best about the A/V is that you don’t have to learn commands. If you remember back in the previous decade, a lot of formatting software required commands. This decade, there are no commands.

 

Just write. So if you created a script at any time in the past with another word-processing program, the script can be converted into professionally-formatted audio-visual scripts that meet the industry’s requirements for how a nonfiction script such as a documentary, should look to be judged professional, according to industry standards.

 

Final Draft opened back in 1990. The software provides updates on the Web. It is endorsed by well-known professionals in the movie industry such as Tom Hanks, Sydney Pollack, Oliver Stone, Steven Bochco, Lawrence Kaden, Stephen J. Cannel and others.

 

Why spend your creativity trying to format your script or align your columns and design your page or template style?

 

Instead, emphasize and apply your imagination or research. As writers, we are content-oriented. This is a software company that really takes to task and puts to work feedback from users. The software evolves, and the updates regularly become available online. Software improves with age, and this software since 1990 has an excellent rating by the scriptwriters who use it. The tutorial is in the handbook.

 

If you think there’s some world-wide format for writing audio-visual scripts, the answer is no. Most scripts conform to a style. The software offers you numerous options so you can customize and tailor your script layout.

 

Since this author used to write a lot of radio/audio scripts, what this author liked about Final Draft A/V is the layout offered for radio scripts. You can use the three default layouts as you learn. Scripts have elements.

 

The switch to Final Draft AV happened because, according to the software manufacturer’s Guide, the automatic formatting specifically “lines up multiple audio/video columns automatically and keeps them aligned when text is added, edited or deleted. When text is added to a video paragraph the matching paragraph in the audio column automatically stays with it.”

 

This is a major requirement for my documentary scripts. In Final Draft AV, paragraphs stay aligned as you type. When you add text to a VIDEO paragraph, the matching paragraph in the AUDIO column automatically stays with it. You never have to retype, rearrange or repaginate manually.

 

Look at the AV screen. If you’re using Windows, you’ll find a toolbar, header, scene marker, insertion point, column, labels, column separator, footer, page number, page count and element label. If you use a Mac, the User Manual will show you with an illustration what’s on the screen as you begin. So the tutorial in the User Manual gets a top rating from this desk for ease of use and clarity.

 

It’s good to know you can use this software with Windows or on a Macintosh. By not having to focus on aligning your script columns or scenes, you’re free to focus on your writing. Be sure to check out the system requirements on the back of the software box for either a Windows-based PC or a Macintosh.

 

Final Draft, Scriptwriter’s Suite includes Final Draft and Final Draft AV. It’s made by Final Draft. Write to the company at Final Draft, Inc., 26707 Agoura Road, Suite 205, Calabasas, CA 91302. Email info@finaldraft.com.

 

Now, let’s look at what you need to do after you finish writing your script. Begin by syndicating online excerpts or promotional content related to your factual research that lends credibility to your point of view, goal, and script.

 

After You Write a Nonfiction Script for a Documentary

 

1. Syndicate Your Content Online

2. Write a Time Budget

3. Write a Money Budget

4. Raise Funds for Financing Your Documentary

5. Produce Your Script as a Documentary

6. Promote Your Scripts with RSS Feeds and MP3 Audio

Files for Podcasting on Web sites

7. Promote Your Documentary

8. Launch in the Media (Free Publicity)

9. Distribute

10. Find Hidden Markets Worldwide

 

Writing a script is only the beginning. You’ll probably also want to produce your script if you’re making a reality-based documentary video and own an industrial-quality or broadcast-quality camcorder.

 

What this author used dual-column script formatting software for is to create scripts with two columns. The dual-column script format lets me clearly show what appears on the screen as dialog and/or narration in one column along with specific sound effects. Video is described in a second column. There’s an audio and a video column in documentary script writing.

 

The dual-column audio-visual script format is used by writers, producers and directors who create the following types of scripts:

 

•Commercials

•Corporate/Industrial Videos

•Documentaries

•Corporate Presentations

•Music Videos

•Radio Spots

•News

•Infomercials

•Speeches

•Video Games

 

Here's a book review on my playwriting/skitwriting/monologue book on ethnoplayography. For more information see the books, Ethno-Playography: How to Create Salable Ethnographic Plays, Monologues, & Skits from Life Stories, Social Issues, by Anne Hart (Jul 27, 2007). Or see the book, Who's Buying Which Popular Short Fiction Now, & What Are They Paying?: How to Write, Customize, & Sell Tales Online, by Anne Hart (Sep 20, 2007).

 

In the book on playwriting and video production titled, Ethno-Playography How to Write Salable Ethnographic Plays,Monologues, & Skits from Life Stories, Social Issues, and Current Events—For all Ages with Samples for Performance, by Anne Hart, 2007, ASJA Press imprint, iUniverse, Inc. (ISBN: 978-0-595-46066-3), you'll learn how to how to research, interview, write, and market ethnographic plays, monologues, or skits, docu-dramas, or documentaries from life story experiences, highlights, social issues, current events, rites-of-passage, coming-of-age, and life’s turning points.

 

Browse the book at: the publisher's site. Or start your own play-based or dramatized life story, news, and social issues or current events-based documentary and/or ancestry-television business online. Ethno-playography is a word coined by playwright and novelist, Anne Hart in 2007. The term describes the geography and joy of play, song, dance, music, art, writing, oral traditions, poetry, and drama around the world encompassing ethnic customs, folklore, games, life story experiences, reminiscence, and traditions. Another term, ethnoplayology was coined earlier by Ellie Katz of San Diego.

 

Learn how to launch ethnographic or multi-cultural family history/genealogy television shows globally on your Web site, produce videos, and publish hobby materials or life stories as a pay-per-view or sponsored free entertainment. Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the country, with more than 113 million participants and researchers. Create social, oral, or personal history documentaries highlighting life stories.

 

You also can customize vintage maps and family atlases and use copies of them as props in your play or skit. Then put your drama in a time-capsule to show to future generations.

 

Develop an educational business supplying explorers and investigators in family history, ancestry, or DNA-driven genealogy as social history. Most people want to know more about their roots, origins, home life, work day, social status, relationships, migrations, marriages, health, attitudes, customs, folklore, clothing, foods, environment, and the social issues in the news during the time in which their ancestors lived.

 

You’ll learn how to adapt real life stories into romance novels, skits, plays, monologues, or biographies. You’ll see the techniques of starting and operating a genealogy journalism and personal history business. Here’s how to interview individuals or groups and record life experiences as an oral historian.

 

Avoid the pitfalls. Learn how to start a genealogy television network (station) on your Web site. Here’s how to finance, write scripts, interview, and produce a documentary.

 

The book shows techniques and tools for you to write, publish, and market family or personal history publications such as books or newsletters on a shoestring budget.

Start and operate a business supplying tools, research, training, and entertainment for those interested in playwriting and/or video production related to genealogy, family history/ancestry, vintage maps, and current issues in the news—for the hobbyist, researcher, or entrepreneur.

 

Here’s how to research, interview, write, and market ethnographic plays, monologues, or skits, docu-dramas, or documentaries from life story experiences, highlights, social issues, current events, rites-of-passage, coming-of-age, and life’s turning points. Or start your own play-based or dramatized life story, news, and social issues or current events-based documentary and/or ancestry-television business online.

 

Keeping Short Stories and Skits Brief Interestingly, the best thing I learned in writing dialogue for plays, skits, and novels is to keep it brief. This author always asked these three questions that have been said many times before writing a book, article, or fiction--novel, script, play, or life story. Lecturing isn't communicating. Connecting is.

 

1. What's the situation, event, or experience?

2. What outcome/impact/result is it causing?
3. What's your resolution? (Solve the problem or get measurable results in clearn and easy-to-understand steps the readers can follow.)

 

It really works as a formula for writing book proposals as well as a query letter and also for the book or follow-up. That's the basis of a good novel or nonfiction book. The details are in the where, how, why, and when.

 

Ethno-playography is a word this author coined in 2007. It's not ethnoplayology, which is a list or database and guide to ethnic plays. The term describes the geography and joy of play, song, dance, music, art, writing, oral traditions, poetry, and drama around the world encompassing ethnic customs, folklore, games, life story experiences, reminiscence, and traditions. And the word, playology was coined by author, educator, and nurse, Ellie Katz.

 

Learn how to launch ethnographic or multicultural family history/genealogy television shows globally on your Web site, produce videos, and publish hobby materials or life stories as a pay-per-view or sponsored free entertainment. Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the country, with more than 113 million participants and researchers.

 

Create social, oral, or personal history documentaries or skits highlighting life stories

 

Or customize vintage maps and family atlases and use copies of them as props in your play or skit. Then put your drama in a time-capsule to show to future generations. You can apply these techniques to creative genealogy writing and research.

 

Develop an educational business supplying explorers and investigators in family history, ancestry, or DNA-driven genealogy as social history. Most people want to know more about their roots, origins, home life, work day, social status, relationships, migrations, marriages, health, attitudes, customs, folklore, clothing, foods, environment, and the social issues in the news during the time in which their ancestors lived.

 

You’ll learn how to adapt real life stories into romance novels, skits, plays, monologues, or biographies. You’ll see the techniques of starting and operating a genealogy journalism and personal history business. When you interview individuals or groups and record life experiences as an oral historian, your first step is to avoid the pitfalls. What you're goals are include foresight, insight, and hindsight.

 

On another note: You also may wish to see this book of questionnaires and creativity enhancement clues for writers of historical fiction:

Do you have the aptitude and personality to be a popular author? Professional creative writing assessments.
Do You Have the Aptitude & Personality to Be A Popular Author?: Professional Creative Writing Assessments? This book of questionnaires, clues, and ideas for historical fiction writers is paperback, and published on March 10, 2009.