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annehart

annehart

Adapting and expanding plays into novels

 

Novels and stories by Anne Hart.

 

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 (Sep 20, 2007).

 

The dialogue gives you the first clue of how your characters will be driving the plot and the rest of the story forward by their behavior, emotions, and words spoken. Even if you're only writing the outline or plan of your novel, the way you want to organize your chapters, start the dialogue going which will move the action forward. A proverb that can be fleshed out into a story can give your dialog purpose, momentum, and passion or at list enthusiasm, liveliness, and charisma or reflection and introspection. Your characters are going to be focused inward or outward, depending upon the personalities their dialogue and actions reveal.

 

Your first chapter—chapter one—is an odd-numbered chapter. Here´s the chapter where you put your setting, props, and descriptions. You´re staring at a blank page. What do you write as your first sentence? Ask yourself what is your main character´s payoff or reward in the book? You may wish to see the book, Who's Buying Which Popular Short Fiction Now, & What Are They Paying?: How to Write, Customize, & Sell Tales Online.

Is his or her reward to understand and control nature in order to become rich and powerful, run away from unbearable duty, get recognition, be remembered, and make an impact, or be loved and also be the center of attention? You may wish to see the book, Social Smarts Strategies That Earn Free Book Publicity: Don't Pay to Market Your Writing.

 

You can break down your protagonist´s goal or life purpose into four categories: control, duty, attention, and impact. To avoid writer´s block on that blank first page, you write 90 seconds of dialog. Read it in 90 seconds aloud to a digital recorder. Play it back. How smooth does it sound to your ears?

 

Do real people talk that way? Is your setting and dialog believable? After the first line of dialog, put in some of your background settings, dates, geography, action, and other props belonging in the odd-numbered chapters. Start a conversation between two characters. Then have them answer the questions or pose a new question by the end of the first page. Don´t put everything on the first page. You may wish to check out the book, Ethno-Playography: How to Create Salable Ethnographic Plays, Monologues, & Skits from Life Stories, Social Issues.

 

Introduce your novel a little at a time to readers. Don´t give the whole story away in the first chapter. In your outline, put in chapter summaries and headlines, not the whole story. Put your plan down after the first chapter.


Never start a historical novel with people in transit. Begin when they arrive at their new destination or write a historical novel that takes place entirely on the ship and end it when they step off the plank at their destination.

 

After you have your first page of dialogue written, insert in between the dialog the descriptions of geography, location, dates, foods, costumes, room descriptions, and anything else you will be putting into your odd chapters, usually falling on the right side of the book pages. That's where the right eye travels first in a right-handed person.

 

Then you write the first chapter as if it were act one of a 24-minute play, but don´t put in any stage directions or sound effects. In fact, each of your chapters can total 24 pages. You´re aiming for balance. Beware of short and long chapters in an historical novel or any story or drama.

 

Keep in mind attention span. The average attention span of a reader is seven minutes, same as the attention span for viewing video. That´s why commercials are inserted at every 10 minute break. The human brain needs a pause every 90 seconds to recharge. Knowing those elements of time, keep your scene segments changing every seven minutes and pausing for a change every 90 seconds of average reading time. Usually it takes a minute to read one page.

 

Your entire book would be 24 chapters. So keep the number 24 in mind as your yardstick. The pages don´t have to be exact, of course, but you need to balance your chapters so that one chapter is not much longer than any other.
Instead, you describe in animated language, the geographic setting and the century or date. Animated language is written by using action verbs—designed, wrote, built, cured, vaccinated, or fired or ....as in "The charivari and consonance of healing frequencies fired from the klaxon´s usual noise."

 

Avoid Repetition

 

Animate historical writing by avoiding tautology which means: don´t repeat the same ideas using different words. How many words a publisher wants varies with each publisher. It costs less to publish a 50,000 word book than a book twice that size. Historical young adult novels run about 40,000 words. Historical novels can be family sagas that read as if they were talking maps and family atlases.

 

Begin your planning stage of your outline by first compiling your plot and the names of your character, dates, customs, ethnography, social history, biography, and folklore in a computer file folder. Keep at least two backup copies on CDs and also printed out on paper in case your computer crashes or your files are lost.

 

Buy a 3-ring loose leaf notebook for your paper copies. In the binder place all materials related to your book in progress. When the book is published, you´ll need a second loose leaf notebook binder to keep track of publicity, press releases, reviews, contracts, and correspondence from your publisher and from the media. Place those little one-inch binder insert covers or tabs to label each chapter of your book.

 

Don´t leave your book on the screen. Print out each chapter to edit and revise in the loose leaf note book. Put the book´s title on the spine. Put into your note book plastic inserts.

 

Attach a tab to label your notes on research for historical accuracy. Put another tab for your synopsis, plan, outline, summarized chapters with chapter headings, and other notes. In another loose leaf notebook after the book is published, do the same type of labeling with plastic inserts and tabs for your editing, contracts, reviews, promotions, publicity press interviews, spin-off articles, history fact-checking, and royalty notices.

Keep your two notebooks in a metal filing cabinet, and keep copies of the same in your computer.

 

One format will back up the other format. If your computer fails, you have everything printed out on paper and two or three CD copies of everything in a fire-proof metal filing cabinet or box. When your editor calls, you can find anything in moments if you label your chapters and other materials and keep them close by.

 

After your book is published your second notebook will track royalties, reviews, the book cover design information or ideas, editing/revisions, query letters, and research of your potential market of readers or age groups and ethnic associations interested in the historical novel.

 

Historical novels are about looking for answers to solve problems and get results in exotic places, but finding simple answers were right under your fingers. You want to emphasize universal values such as commitment to family and friends, caring for one another, repairing social ills and sickness, earning a living and becoming independent, supporting your children and keeping the family together against all odds, or finding freedom, faith and values, in the virtues of finding and being accepted a new home land.

Another genre in historical fiction is the family saga.

 

The saga may be fictionalized but it reads like biography. Fictional sagas use action verbs in the dialogue. They read almost like a drama. And the action verbs animate the writing. The opposite of animated writing is flat writing, where passive verbs weaken the story. Historical novels become weaker when the plot drives the characters.

 

The characters should drive the plot faster and faster to a conclusion where problems are solved or conflicts resolved. You have closure at the end for the characters. Or they transcend past mistakes and rise above them. The last chapter gives the characters a type of choice and balance they did not have at the beginning of the book. The characters grow.

 

Characters change with the times and inspire the reader. Or they are heroes because of sticking to their purpose and commitment

 

The protagonists don´t abandon their family or friends. But if they make mistakes, they find closure in rising above the mistakes by seeing more possibilities in the simple answers instead of the complex ones. Simplicity of answers close by is the formula for the historical novel that emphasizes growth and change for the better.


Before you write your plan, make a map or family atlas of your characters and summarize their problems and personalities in two paragraphs. Draw them on a map and point to how they relate to or interact with other characters and how they influence the other characters and the results. Read the book title, Silk Stockings Glimpses of 1904 Broadway, or A 19th Century Immigrant´s Love Story. It shows how a love story intertwines with a historical novel that can be both a social history, romance novel, and historical novel or family saga rolled into one published book.

 

Write Two Scenes for Each Chapter

 

Your first chapter will consist of two scenes. Write those two scenes before sending them out to a publisher in an outline which usually asks for three sample chapters and an outline summary of one chapter (summarized by two paragraphs) for each of the 24 chapters of your book. Almost all mainstream novels consist of two scenes per chapter. Take apart any mainstream novel, and you´ll see those two distinctive scenes in each chapter.

 

Within each chapter you´ll have one scene of interaction between two characters or a character and his or her family and one action scene. So keep this formula in mind: one relationship scene and one action scene. It has been said by published authors in the past decade and repeated at talks and seminars where published authors speak to other authors repeating this formula.

 

When you first plan your historical novel, separate the relationship side from the action side. First summarize the relationship side and then do the same for the action side. Then bring both together in one chapter. In every relationship scene and in every action scene, you will have your characters interacting together.

 

You need to make a laundry list in your plan of what happens specifically on the relationship side. Then in your odd-numbered chapters, you will fill in the plot side, the mystery side, the action side, the geography, costume, food, ethnography, travel and ballroom or battlefield side.

 

What you don´t want to do is have all even-numbered chapters where characters do nothing but talk or all odd-numbered chapters where characters don´t speak to each other and just travel the roads or sail the seas or fight the wars. No, that´s just the way you outline your plan, your skeleton. Now you bring the relationship scenes together and the action scenes together and put them inter-playing in each chapter. At this point, you´ll start writing your book. In the actual book, the reader will not see a difference between the odd and even chapters.

 

It´s in your planning stage that you separate each set of 12 chapters totaling 24 chapters. So when you finally bring the chapters together to weave them slowly, what you have left is an historical mainstream novel with "two scenes per chapter, one relationship scene and one action scene," as it has been said by numerous published authors speaking at writer´s seminars or meetings.


The quote I heard most often from popular published novelists emphasized that "Your protagonists interact together in the relationship and action scenes." What you do plan for in your historical mainstream novel is writing 24 chapters.

 

Your first step is to write up a plan that shows chapter by chapter exactly what is happening, changing, and moving the plot forward on the relationship side and on the plot or action side. Then you have to balance relationship and dialogue against plot or action. When the two sides are in balance as if on a seesaw, you have a salable historical mainstream novel.

 

In your plan, you´d have two columns, one for scenes with relationships showing communication, connection, and interaction using dialog. And in your other column, you´d describe your plot using scenes depicting action and adventure.

 

This is the best way to organize your novel before you sit down to write. It´s set up so you can get a handle on what you´re doing and find any scene or chapter quickly to do fact checking with actual historical events.


When you've picked apart your book´s main points, results, and are able to show how the characters solved problems leading to growth and change, commitment, closure, or transcending past choices and taking alternative paths, you have arrived at a point in organization where every turning point or significant event and relationship or social history highlight is labeled and filed. Now that you have organized the details, it´s time to flesh out your story.

 

Novels Spring from Proverbs

 

Where do you get your storyline? You begin with a proverb related to the history your depicting. Look at a book of proverbs. Choose one. Flesh out the proverb into a story. Take a course in storytelling or read a book on how to be a storyteller. Check out the book, How to Turn Poems, Lyrics, and Folklore into Salable Children's Books: Using Humor or Proverbs.

 

Most fairy tales, ethnic historical time-travel plots, and historical novels--either romance or suspense and intrigue are built around proverbs with ageless, universal values and truths or are related to a culture´s folklore and history. You can also use a proverb from the Bible or from any other similar book of any religion. Use an indigenous culture´s proverbs or those from ancient cultures or hidden histories. You can write a historical novel about military dog, cat, or horse heroes.

 

Your story line can come out of a proverb or familiar quotation based on still older proverbs of any culture. If you need a plot, a proverb is the first place to look for inspiration or a start. Many novelists use proverbs as inspiration to write one-sentence pitch lines for their novels.

 

Before you write anything, summarize the pitch line of your book in one sentence. Pretend you were selling your novel to a movie producer. Pitch the book in ten seconds or less using one sentence. Here´s one example used many times in lectures by scriptwriting course professors, "Star Trek is Wagon Train in outer space." Perhaps your historical novel resembles various popular cultures placed in a new context that can be summed up in one sentence under ten words in length.

 

Note that different publishers may require different page lengths or different numbers of chapters. So check with your publisher´s requirements if the publisher wants more or less than a book with 24 chapters, as publisher´s requirements may vary.

 

Adapting your script or play to a novel

 

Interested in writing the social issues, adventure-suspense, or romance novel of push and pull -- set in any time or place? If you start to write fiction or take a class in creative writing of thriller novels or other genres such as action, suspense, or romance, one shortcut that works better and quicker to make the complex more clear is to organize your work of fiction into 24 chapters where the 12 odd chapters focus on bringing your main characters together and the 12 even chapters focus on creating romantic tension or suspense by pulling them away from each other.
 
You want to focus on consistency in your novel. The constant push and pull tension and togetherness or comfort level works to move the plot forward. It's the characters that drive the plot by this constant contraction and relaxation of their behaviors and attitudes. This is how you start to plan and organize your novel, short story, or script/play. The method also can work when you write song lyrics.

 

12 chapters of conflict interweaved with 12 chapters of bringing the characters together

 

Here´s how to divide a novel into 24 chapters of 12 odd pull(conflict) and 12 even push (resolving the tension) chapters. Or you could start with push and then go to pull (the opposite) as long as the story moves forward faster and faster, especially if you´re writing a thriller within a historical or ethnic novel.

 

Historical novels may be divided into 12 chapters of dialog and description that push the plot forward and 12 chapters of dialog and description that pull the tension and conflict backwards. The even-numbered chapters create more problems to solve and additional growth and change for your main characters.

 

The rule of 12-12 or 24 short chapters of push and pull, tension apart and joining together

 

Organize your novel quickly into 24 chapters where the 12 odd chapters focus on bringing your main characters together and the 12 even chapters focus on creating romantic tension or suspense by pulling them away from each other.

That's the easy way to lay out a plan for a novel, or a movie script adaptation from play or script to novel. You flesh out the main dialogue to 24 short or longer chapters with 12 even chapters focusing on tension or 'pull' and 12 odd-numbered chapters focused on 'push' or bringing your main characters together to live happily ever after or go their own way and move on with serenity and closure or the ambiance of what the audience expects to get out of the work.

 

Even-number chapters show inner growth

 

Even-numbered chapters show results that can be measured in each character´s inner growth, reflection, emotions, dialog, behavior, frame of mind, mood, attitude, tag lines, and arc of change. Odd-numbered chapters are devoted to descriptions of locations, dates and times, geography, folklore, customs, habits, ethnology, nuances, settings, ceremonies, adventure, explorations, coming of age rituals, travel, descriptions of village life, cooking, costumes, warfare, military and social history backgrounds. For every action in a historical novel, there´s an equal and opposite reaction.

 

The Twelve Even-Numbered Chapters

 

Divide your historical novel into 24 chapters. Number those chapters on your outline and plan. Next separate 12 even-numbered chapters from the 12 odd-numbered. On the even numbered chapters write your character´s dialog showing the rise of dramatic tension, the conflict, the push-and pull of any relationships or romance.

 

Your characters in a historical novel need to solve a problem and show the reader the results, the range of change, and their inner growth. What protagonists think of themselves in their social history context are shown in the even chapters. How they act toward others showing how they have grown by the midpoint of your story and finally by the ending chapter belongs in the 12 even-numbered chapters.

 

Write your character´s dialog within the even-numbered chapters showing descriptions, locations, settings, scenes, action, adventure, and exotic descriptions of ceremonies, rituals, and significant life story highlights or turning points and events that animate your writing—make the writing come alive with sparkle, charisma, and the dash of adventure.

 

The Twelve Odd-Numbered Chapters

 

If you´re writing an historical thriller, the odd-numbered pages get the physical action such as the ticking clock or count down to the high point of your novel. In historical mysteries, thrillers, and intrigue, the ticking clock is more like a ticking bomb.

Time evaporates at a faster and faster rate the farther you read into the book. The pace speeds up dramatically using more conflict and action where the characters need speedier reaction times with each advancing chapter as you head toward the middle point of your story.

 

Let the characters drive your plot forward. That´s how you illustrate the illusion of the count-down and create the push and pull tension in a historical novel.

It´s the same technique used in a thriller, without the historical attributes, settings, and costume drama or historical dialects and props, such as a setting at Versailles in the 18th century. Historical novels portray character-driven plots.

 

Begin Your First Chapter by Writing the Dialog

 

Your first chapter—chapter one—is an odd-numbered chapter. Here´s the chapter where you put your setting, props, and descriptions. You´re staring at a blank page. What do you write as your first sentence? Ask yourself what is your main character´s payoff or reward in the book?

 

Is his or her reward to understand and control nature in order to become rich and powerful, run away from unbearable duty, get recognition, be remembered, and make an impact, or be loved and also be the center of attention?

You can break down your protagonist´s goal or life purpose into four categories: control, duty, attention, and impact. To avoid writer´s block on that blank first page, you write 90 seconds of dialog. Read it in 90 seconds aloud to a digital recorder. Play it back. How smooth does it sound to your ears?

 

Do real people talk that way?

 

Is your setting and dialog believable? After the first line of dialog, put in some of your background settings, dates, geography, action, and other props belonging in the odd-numbered chapters. Start a conversation between two characters. Then have them answer the questions or pose a new question by the end of the first page. Don´t put everything on the first page.

 

Introduce your novel a little at a time to readers. Don´t give the whole story away in the first chapter. In your outline, put in chapter summaries and headlines, not the whole story. Put your plan down after the first chapter.

 

Never start a historical novel with people in transit

Begin when they arrive at their new destination or write a historical novel that takes place entirely on the ship and end it when they step off the plank at their destination. The exception is if you're entire story takes place on a ship, plane, train, or in some form of transportation, for example, a space ship.

 

After you have your first page of dialogue written, insert in between the dialog the descriptions of geography, location, dates, foods, costumes, room descriptions, and anything else you will be putting into your odd chapters, usually falling on the right side of the book pages.

 

That´s where the right eye travels first in a right-handed person. Then you write the first chapter as if it were act one of a 24-minute play, but don´t put in any stage directions or sound effects. In fact, each of your chapters can total 24 pages. You´re aiming for balance. Beware of short and long chapters in an historical novel or any story or drama.

 

Keep in mind attention span

 

The average attention span of a reader is seven minutes, same as the attention span for viewing video. That´s why commercials are inserted at every 10 minute break. The human brain needs a pause every 90 seconds to recharge.

 

Knowing those elements of time, keep your scene segments changing every seven minutes and pausing for a change every 90 seconds of average reading time. Usually it takes a minute to read one page.

 

Your entire book would be 24 chapters

 

So keep the number 24 in mind as your yardstick. The pages don´t have to be exact, of course, but you need to balance your chapters so that one chapter is not much longer than any other.

 

Instead, you describe in animated language, the geographic setting and the century or date. Animated language is written by using action verbs—designed, wrote, built, cured, vaccinated, or fired or ....as in "The charivari and consonance of healing frequencies fired from the klaxon´s usual noise."

 

Avoid Repetition

 

Animate historical writing by avoiding tautology which means: don´t repeat the same ideas using different words. How many words a publisher wants varies with each publisher. It costs less to publish a 50,000 word book than a book twice that size. Historical young adult novels run about 40,000 words. Historical novels can be family sagas that read as if they were talking maps and family atlases.

 

Begin your planning stage of your outline by first compiling your plot and the names of your character, dates, customs, ethnography, social history, biography, and folklore in a computer file folder. Keep at least two backup copies on CDs and also printed out on paper in case your computer crashes or your files are lost.

 

Buy a 3-ring loose leaf notebook for your paper copies

 

In the binder place all materials related to your book in progress. When the book is published, you´ll need a second loose leaf notebook binder to keep track of publicity, press releases, reviews, contracts, and correspondence from your publisher and from the media. Place those little one-inch binder insert covers or tabs to label each chapter of your book.

 

Don´t leave your book on the screen. Print out each chapter to edit and revise in the loose leaf note book. Put the book´s title on the spine. Put into your note book plastic inserts.

 

Attach a tab to label your notes on research for historical accuracy

 

Put another tab for your synopsis, plan, outline, summarized chapters with chapter headings, and other notes. In another loose leaf notebook after the book is published, do the same type of labeling with plastic inserts and tabs for your editing, contracts, reviews, promotions, publicity press interviews, spin-off articles, history fact-checking, and royalty notices.

 

Keep your two notebooks in a metal filing cabinet in case your computer loses the work, and keep copies of the same in your computer. One format will back up the other format. If your computer fails, you have everything printed out on paper and two or three CD copies of everything in a fire-proof metal filing cabinet or box. When your editor calls, you can find anything in moments if you label your chapters and other materials and keep them close by.

 

After your book is published your second notebook will track royalties, reviews, the book cover design information or ideas, editing/revisions, query letters, and research of your potential market of readers or age groups and ethnic associations interested in the historical novel.

 

Emphasize universal values of morality

 

Historical novels are about looking for answers to solve problems and get results in exotic places, but finding simple answers were right under your fingers. You want to emphasize universal values such as commitment to family and friends, caring for one another, repairing social ills and sickness, earning a living and becoming independent, supporting your children and keeping the family together against all odds, or finding freedom, faith and values, in the virtues of finding and being accepted a new home land.

 

Another genre in historical fiction is the family saga. The saga may be fictionalized but it reads like biography. Fictional sagas use action verbs in the dialogue. They read almost like a drama. And the action verbs animate the writing. The opposite of animated writing is flat writing, where passive verbs weaken the story. Historical novels become weaker when the plot drives the characters.

 

Writing the family saga

 

The characters should drive the plot faster and faster to a conclusion where problems are solved or conflicts resolved. You have closure at the end for the characters. Or they transcend past mistakes and rise above them. The last chapter gives the characters a type of choice and balance they did not have at the beginning of the book. The characters grow.

 

They change with the times and inspire the reader. Or they are heroes because of sticking to their purpose and commitment. The protagonists don´t abandon their family or friends. But if they make mistakes, they find closure in rising above the mistakes by seeing more possibilities in the simple answers instead of the complex ones.

 

Simplicity of answers close by is the formula for the historical novel that emphasizes growth and change for the better.

 

Before you write your plan, make a map or family atlas of your characters and summarize their problems and personalities in two paragraphs. Draw them on a map and point to how they relate to or interact with other characters and how they influence the other characters and the results.

 

You may want to read the book title, Silk Stockings Glimpses of 1904 Broadway, or A 19th Century Immigrant´s Love Story. It shows how a love story intertwines with a historical novel that can be both a social history, romance novel, and historical novel or family saga rolled into one published book. Or on another note, check out the article, "Messages of resilience are this year's hottest plots in ethnic novels."

 

Write Two Scenes for Each Chapter

 

Your first chapter will consist of two scenes. Write those two scenes before sending them out to a publisher in an outline which usually asks for three sample chapters and an outline summary of one chapter (summarized by two paragraphs) for each of the 24 chapters of your book. Almost all mainstream novels consist of two scenes per chapter. Take apart any mainstream novel, and you´ll see those two distinctive scenes in each chapter.

 

Within each chapter you´ll have one scene of interaction between two characters or a character and his or her family and one action scene. So keep this formula in mind: one relationship scene and one action scene. It has been said by published authors in the past decade and repeated at talks and seminars where published authors speak to other authors repeating this formula.

 

When you first plan your historical novel, separate the relationship side from the action side

 

First summarize the relationship side and then do the same for the action side. Then bring both together in one chapter. In every relationship scene and in every action scene, you will have your characters interacting together.

You need to make a laundry list in your plan of what happens specifically on the relationship side. Then in your odd-numbered chapters, you will fill in the plot side, the mystery side, the action side, the geography, costume, food, ethnography, travel and ballroom or battlefield side.

 

Shuffle your even and odd chapters so you have one chapter of tension followed by another chapter of bringing characters together or the potential of bringing people together

 

What you don´t want to do is have all even-numbered chapters where characters do nothing but talk or all odd-numbered chapters where characters don´t speak to each other and just travel the roads or sail the seas or fight the wars. No, that´s just the way you outline your plan, your skeleton. Now you bring the relationship scenes together and the action scenes together and put them inter-playing in each chapter. At this point, you´ll start writing your book. In the actual book, the reader will not see a difference between the odd and even chapters.

 

It´s in your planning stage that you separate each set of 12 chapters totaling 24 chapters

 

So when you finally bring the chapters together to weave them slowly, what you have left is an historical mainstream novel with "two scenes per chapter, one relationship scene and one action scene," as it has been said by numerous published authors speaking at writer´s seminars or meetings.


The quote I heard most often from popular published novelists emphasized that "Your protagonists interact together in the relationship and action scenes." What you do plan for in your historical mainstream novel is writing 24 chapters.

 

Show what's happening and how it's changing

 

Your first step is to write up a plan that shows chapter by chapter exactly what is happening, changing, and moving the plot forward on the relationship side and on the plot or action side. Then you have to balance relationship and dialogue against plot or action. When the two sides are in balance as if on a seesaw, you have a salable historical mainstream novel.

 

In your plan, you´d have two columns, one for scenes with relationships showing communication, connection, and interaction using dialog. And in your other column, you´d describe your plot using scenes depicting action and adventure. This is the best way to organize your novel before you sit down to write.

 

Locate any scene or chapter in your work of fiction

 

It´s set up so you can get a handle on what you´re doing and find any scene or chapter quickly to do fact checking with actual historical events. When you've picked apart your book´s main points, results, and are able to show how the characters solved problems leading to growth and change, commitment, closure, or transcending past choices and taking alternative paths, you have arrived at a point in organization where every turning point or significant event and relationship or social history highlight is labeled and filed. Now that you have organized the details, it´s time to flesh out your story.

 

Where do you get your storyline? You begin with a proverb related to the history your depicting. Look at a book of proverbs. Choose one. Flesh out the proverb into a story. Take a course in storytelling or read a book on how to be a storyteller.

 

Novels Spring from Proverbs

 

Most fairy tales, ethnic historical time-travel plots, and historical novels--either romance or suspense and intrigue are built around proverbs with ageless, universal values and truths or are related to a culture´s folklore and history. Check out the proverbs of a variety of cultures.

 

You can also use a proverb from the Bible or from any other similar book of any religion. Use an indigenous culture´s proverbs or those from ancient cultures or hidden histories. You can write a historical novel about military dog, cat, or horse heroes.

 

Use proverbs to flesh out into a story

 

Your story line can come out of a proverb or familiar quotation based on still older proverbs of any culture. If you need a plot, a proverb is the first place to look for inspiration or a start. Many novelists use proverbs as inspiration to write one-sentence pitch lines for their novels.

 

Before you write anything, summarize the pitch line of your book in one sentence. Pretend you were selling your novel to a movie producer. Pitch the book in ten seconds or less using one sentence. Here´s one example used many times in lectures by scriptwriting course professors, "Star Trek is Wagon Train in outer space." Perhaps your historical novel resembles various popular cultures placed in a new context that can be summed up in one sentence under ten words in length.

 

Note that different publishers may require different page lengths or different numbers of chapters. So check with your publisher´s requirements if the publisher wants more or less than a book with 24 chapters, as publisher´s requirements may vary. You can write a chapter of only a few pages or many. But keep your chapter length consistent.

 

Sacramento creative writing classes are abundant in 2013

 

For example, your public library can give you a list of the many classes. No matter where you take a fiction writing class, what creative writing teachers may never show you is how to quickly lay out, organize, and plan a 24-chapter novel of adventure, romance, or suspense.

 

When you go back to school after the summer and take a class in creative writing--fiction, a shortcut that works that your teachers may never get around to tell you is how to organize your work of fiction. Or read a variety of articles or books on organizing and planning your novel before you sit down and write a story line. It's a craft that needs to be whittled to the bare bones before you begin to unfold the plot and the characters that move the story forward.

The DNA Detectives, working against time (a novel)
The DNA Detectives, working against time (a novel) Anne Hart, Book.

The DNA Detectives, working against time (a novel)

Interested in writing the social issues, adventure-suspense, or romance novel of push and pull -- set in any time or place? If you start to write fiction or take a class in creative writing of thriller novels or other genres such as action, suspense, or romance, one shortcut that works better and quicker to make the complex more clear is to organize your work of fiction into 24 chapters where the 12 odd chapters focus on bringing your main characters together and the 12 even chapters focus on creating romantic tension or suspense by pulling them away from each other.
Do you have the aptitude and personality to be a popular author? Professional creative writing assessments.
Do you have the aptitude and personality to be a popular author? Professional creative writing assessments. Anne Hart, Book.

Do you have the aptitude and personality to be a popular author? Professional creative writing assessments.

 

You want to focus on consistency in your novel. The constant push and pull tension and togetherness or comfort level works to move the plot forward. It's the characters that drive the plot by this constant contraction and relaxation of their behaviors and attitudes. This is how you start to plan and organize your novel, short story, or script/play. The method also can work when you write song lyrics.
How to start engaging conversations on women's, men's, or family studies with wealthy strangers
How to start engaging conversations on women's, men's, or family studies with wealthy strangers Anne Hart, Photography and Book.

How to start engaging conversations on women's, men's, or family studies with wealthy strangers

12 chapters of conflict interweaved with 12 chapters of bringing the characters together
 

Here´s how to divide a novel into 24 chapters of 12 odd pull(conflict) and 12 even push (resolving the tension) chapters. Or you could start with push and then go to pull (the opposite) as long as the story moves forward faster and faster, especially if you´re writing a thriller within a historical or ethnic novel.

Historical novels may be divided into 12 chapters of dialog and description that push the plot forward and 12 chapters of dialog and description that pull the tension and conflict backwards. The even-numbered chapters create more problems to solve and additional growth and change for your main characters.

 

The rule of 12-12 or 24 short chapters of push and pull, tension apart and joining together
 

Organize your novel quickly into 24 chapters where the 12 odd chapters focus on bringing your main characters together and the 12 even chapters focus on creating romantic tension or suspense by pulling them away from each other.

That's the easy way to lay out a plan for a novel, or a movie script adaptation from play or script to novel.

 

You flesh out the main dialogue to 24 short or longer chapters with 12 even chapters focusing on tension or 'pull' and 12 odd-numbered chapters focused on 'push' or bringing your main characters together to live happily ever after or go their own way and move on with serenity and closure or the ambiance of what the audience expects to get out of the work.

Adventures in my beloved medieval Alania and beyond - a time-travel novel sest in the 10th century Caucasus Mts.
Adventures in my beloved medieval Alania and beyond - a time-travel novel sest in the 10th century Caucasus Mts. Anne Hart, Book.
Even-number chapters show inner growth

Even-numbered chapters show results that can be measured in each character´s inner growth, reflection, emotions, dialog, behavior, frame of mind, mood, attitude, tag lines, and arc of change. Odd-numbered chapters are devoted to descriptions of locations, dates and times, geography, folklore, customs, habits, ethnology, nuances, settings, ceremonies, adventure, explorations, coming of age rituals, travel, descriptions of village life, cooking, costumes, warfare, military and social history backgrounds. For every action in a historical novel, there's an equal and opposite reaction.
30+ Brain-Exercising Creativity Coach Businesses to Open
30+ Brain-Exercising Creativity Coach Businesses to Open Anne Hart, Photography and Book.
The Twelve Even-Numbered Chapters

Divide your historical novel into 24 chapters. Number those chapters on your outline and plan. Next separate 12 even-numbered chapters from the 12 odd-numbered. On the even numbered chapters write your character´s dialog showing the rise of dramatic tension, the conflict, the push-and pull of any relationships or romance.

 

Your characters in a historical novel need to solve a problem and show the reader the results, the range of change, and their inner growth. What protagonists think of themselves in their social history context are shown in the even chapters. How they act toward others showing how they have grown by the midpoint of your story and finally by the ending chapter belongs in the 12 even-numbered chapters.

 

Write your character's dialog within the even-numbered chapters showing descriptions, locations, settings, scenes, action, adventure, and exotic descriptions of ceremonies, rituals, and significant life story highlights or turning points and events that animate your writing—make the writing come alive with sparkle, charisma, and the dash of adventure.

Counseling Anarchists (a novel)
Counseling Anarchists (a novel) Anne Hart, Book.
The Twelve Odd-Numbered Chapters

If you´re writing an historical thriller, the odd-numbered pages get the physical action such as the ticking clock or count down to the high point of your novel. In historical mysteries, thrillers, and intrigue, the ticking clock is more like a ticking bomb.

Time evaporates at a faster and faster rate the farther you read into the book. The pace speeds up dramatically using more conflict and action where the characters need speedier reaction times with each advancing chapter as you head toward the middle point of your story.
Ethno-playography: How to create salable plays, monologues, and skits from life stories, social issues, and current events
Ethno-playography: How to create salable plays, monologues, and skits from life stories, social issues, and current events Anne Hart, Book.
Let the characters drive your plot forward. That's how you illustrate the illusion of the count-down and create the push and pull tension in a historical novel.

It´s the same technique used in a thriller, without the historical attributes, settings, and costume drama or historical dialects and props, such as a setting at Versailles in the 18th century. Historical novels portray character-driven plots.
Dogs with careers: Ten happy-ending stories of purpose and passion
Dogs with careers: Ten happy-ending stories of purpose and passion Anne Hart, Photography and Book.
Begin Your First Chapter by Writing the Dialog

Your first chapter—chapter one—is an odd-numbered chapter. Here´s the chapter where you put your setting, props, and descriptions. You´re staring at a blank page. What do you write as your first sentence? Ask yourself what is your main character´s payoff or reward in the book?

Is his or her reward to understand and control nature in order to become rich and powerful, run away from unbearable duty, get recognition, be remembered, and make an impact, or be loved and also be the center of attention?
Is radical liberalism or extreme conservatism a character disorder, mental disease, or publicity campaign?
Is radical liberalism or extreme conservatism a character disorder, mental disease, or publicity campaign? Anne Hart, Book.
Keep in mind attention span

The average attention span of a reader is seven minutes, same as the attention span for viewing video. That´s why commercials are inserted at every 10 minute break. The human brain needs a pause every 90 seconds to recharge.

Knowing those elements of time, keep your scene segments changing every seven minutes and pausing for a change every 90 seconds of average reading time. Usually it takes a minute to read one page.
 

Proper parenting in ancient Rome
Proper parenting in ancient Rome Anne Hart, Photography and Book.
Your entire book would be 24 short chapters

So keep the number 24 in mind as your yardstick. The pages don´t have to be exact, of course, but you need to balance your chapters so that one chapter is not much longer than any other.

Instead, you describe in animated language, the geographic setting and the century or date. Animated language is written by using action verbs—designed, wrote, built, cured, vaccinated, or fired or ....as in "The charivari and consonance of healing frequencies fired from the klaxon´s usual noise."

Ancient and Medieval Teenage Diaries
Ancient and Medieval Teenage Diaries Anne Hart, Photography and Book.
Avoid Repetition

Animate historical writing by avoiding tautology which means: don´t repeat the same ideas using different words. How many words a publisher wants varies with each publisher. It costs less to publish a 50,000 word book than a book twice that size. Historical young adult novels run about 40,000 words. Historical novels can be family sagas that read as if they were talking maps and family atlases.

Begin your planning stage of your outline by first compiling your plot and the names of your character, dates, customs, ethnography, social history, biography, and folklore in a computer file folder. Keep at least two backup copies on flash drives, CDs or DVDs and also printed out on paper in case your computer crashes or your files are lost.
The Writer's Bible.
The Writer's Bible. Anne Hart, Book.
Buy a 3-ring loose leaf notebook for your paper copies

In the binder place all materials related to your book in progress. When the book is published, you´ll need a second loose leaf notebook binder to keep track of publicity, press releases, reviews, contracts, and correspondence from your publisher and from the media. Place those little one-inch binder insert covers or tabs to label each chapter of your book.

Don't leave your book on the computer screen, even if saved. Print out each chapter to edit and revise in the loose leaf note book. Put the book´s title on the spine. Put into your note book plastic inserts.

Murder in the women's studies department: A professor sleuth novel of mystery.
Murder in the women's studies department: A professor sleuth novel of mystery. Anne Hart, Book.
Attach a tab to label your notes on research for historical accuracy

Put another tab for your synopsis, plan, outline, summarized chapters with chapter headings, and other notes. In another loose leaf notebook after the book is published, do the same type of labeling with plastic inserts and tabs for your editing, contracts, reviews, promotions, publicity press interviews, spin-off articles, history fact-checking, and royalty notices.

Keep your two notebooks in a metal filing cabinet in case your computer loses the work, and keep copies of the same in your computer. One format will back up the other format. If your computer fails, you have everything printed out on paper and two or three CD copies of everything in a fire-proof metal filing cabinet or box. When your editor calls, you can find anything in moments if you label your chapters and other materials and keep them close by.

After your book is published your second notebook will track royalties, reviews, the book cover design information or ideas, editing/revisions, query letters, and research of your potential market of readers or age groups and ethnic associations interested in the historical novel.

Why we never give up our need for a perfect mother.
Why we never give up our need for a perfect mother. Anne Hart, Photography and Book.Attach a tab to label your notes on research for historical accuracy Put another tab for your synopsis, plan, outline, summarized chapters with chapter headings, and other notes. In another loose leaf notebook after the boo
Attach a tab to label your notes on research for historical accuracy

Put another tab for your synopsis, plan, outline, summarized chapters with chapter headings, and other notes. In another loose leaf notebook after the book is published, do the same type of labeling with plastic inserts and tabs for your editing, contracts, reviews, promotions, publicity press interviews, spin-off articles, history fact-checking, and royalty notices.

Keep your two notebooks in a metal filing cabinet in case your computer loses the work, and keep copies of the same in your computer. One format will back up the other format. If your computer fails, you have everything printed out on paper and two or three CD copies of everything in a fire-proof metal filing cabinet or box. When your editor calls, you can find anything in moments if you label your chapters and other materials and keep them close by.

After your book is published your second notebook will track royalties, reviews, the book cover design information or ideas, editing/revisions, query letters, and research of your potential market of readers or age groups and ethnic associations interested in the historical novel.

Astronauts and Their Cats.
Astronauts and Their Cats. Anne Hart, Book.
Emphasize universal values of morality

Historical novels are about looking for answers to solve problems and get results in exotic places, but finding simple answers were right under your fingers. You want to emphasize universal values such as commitment to family and friends, caring for one another, repairing social ills and sickness, earning a living and becoming independent, supporting your children and keeping the family together against all odds, or finding freedom, faith and values, in the virtues of finding and being accepted a new home land.

Another genre in historical fiction is the family saga. The saga may be fictionalized but it reads like biography. Fictional sagas use action verbs in the dialogue. They read almost like a drama. And the action verbs animate the writing. The opposite of animated writing is flat writing, where passive verbs weaken the story. Historical novels become weaker when the plot drives the characters.
The date who unleashed hell.
The date who unleashed hell. Anne Hart, Book.
Writing the family saga

The characters should drive the plot faster and faster to a conclusion where problems are solved or conflicts resolved. You have closure at the end for the characters. Or they transcend past mistakes and rise above them. The last chapter gives the characters a type of choice and balance they did not have at the beginning of the book. The characters grow.

They change with the times and inspire the reader. Or they are heroes because of sticking to their purpose and commitment. The protagonists don´t abandon their family or friends. But if they make mistakes, they find closure in rising above the mistakes by seeing more possibilities in the simple answers instead of the complex ones.
Cyber Snoop Nation
Cyber Snoop Nation Anne Hart, Book.
Simplicity of answers close by is the formula for the historical novel that emphasizes growth and change for the better.

Before you write your plan, make a map or family atlas of your characters and summarize their problems and personalities in two paragraphs. Draw them on a map and point to how they relate to or interact with other characters and how they influence the other characters and the results.

You may want to read the book title, Silk Stockings Glimpses of 1904 Broadway, or A 19th Century Immigrant's Love Story. It shows how a love story intertwines with a historical novel that can be both a social history, romance novel, and historical novel or family saga rolled into one published book.

Social Smarts Strategies that Earn Free Book Publicity
Social Smarts Strategies that Earn Free Book Publicity Anne Hart, Photography and Book.
Write Two Scenes for Each Chapter

Your first chapter will consist of two scenes. Write those two scenes before sending them out to a publisher in an outline which usually asks for three sample chapters and an outline summary of one chapter (summarized by two paragraphs) for each of the 24 chapters of your book. Almost all mainstream novels consist of two scenes per chapter. Take apart any mainstream novel, and you´ll see those two distinctive scenes in each chapter.

Within each chapter you´ll have one scene of interaction between two characters or a character and his or her family and one action scene. So keep this formula in mind: one relationship scene and one action scene. It has been said by published authors in the past decade and repeated at talks and seminars where published authors speak to other authors repeating this formula.
 
How to turn poems, lyrics, and folklore into salable children's books using humor or proverbs.
How to turn poems, lyrics, and folklore into salable children's books using humor or proverbs. Anne Hart, Photography, Illustration, and Book.
When you first plan your historical novel, separate the relationship side from the action side
 
First summarize the relationship side and then do the same for the action side. Then bring both together in one chapter. In every relationship scene and in every action scene, you will have your characters interacting together.

 

You need to make a laundry list in your plan of what happens specifically on the relationship side. Then in your odd-numbered chapters, you will fill in the plot side, the mystery side, the action side, the geography, costume, food, ethnography, travel and ballroom or battlefield side.

 

Shuffle your even and odd chapters so you have one chapter of tension followed by another chapter of bringing characters together or the potential of bringing people together

 

What you don't want to do is have all even-numbered chapters where characters do nothing but talk or all odd-numbered chapters where characters don't speak to each other and just travel the roads or sail the seas or fight the wars. No, that´s just the way you outline your plan, your skeleton. Now you bring the relationship scenes together and the action scenes together and put them inter-playing in each chapter. At this point, you´ll start writing your book. In the actual book, the reader will not see a difference between the odd and even chapters.

 

It´s in your planning stage that you separate each set of 12 chapters totaling 24 chapters
 

So when you finally bring the chapters together to weave them slowly, what you have left is an historical mainstream novel with "two scenes per chapter, one relationship scene and one action scene," as it has been said by numerous published authors speaking at writer´s seminars or meetings.


The quote I heard most often from popular published novelists emphasized that "Your protagonists interact together in the relationship and action scenes." What you do plan for in your historical mainstream novel is writing 24 chapters.

 

Show what's happening and how it's changing

 

Your first step is to write up a plan that shows chapter by chapter exactly what is happening, changing, and moving the plot forward on the relationship side and on the plot or action side. Then you have to balance relationship and dialogue against plot or action. When the two sides are in balance as if on a seesaw, you have a salable historical mainstream novel.

 

In your plan, you´d have two columns, one for scenes with relationships showing communication, connection, and interaction using dialog. And in your other column, you´d describe your plot using scenes depicting action and adventure.

 

This is the best way to organize your novel before you sit down to write. It´s set up so you can get a handle on what you´re doing and find any scene or chapter quickly to do fact checking with actual historical events.

 

When you've picked apart your book´s main points, results, and are able to show how the characters solved problems leading to growth and change, commitment, closure, or transcending past choices and taking alternative paths, you have arrived at a point in organization where every turning point or significant event and relationship or social history highlight is labeled and filed. Now that you have organized the details, it´s time to flesh out your story.

 

Novels Spring from Proverbs

 

Where do you get your storyline? You begin with a proverb related to the history your depicting. Look at a book of proverbs. Choose one. Flesh out the proverb into a story. Take a course in storytelling or read a book on how to be a storyteller.

 

Most fairy tales, ethnic historical time-travel plots, and historical novels--either romance or suspense and intrigue are built around proverbs with ageless, universal values and truths or are related to a culture´s folklore and history. You can also use a proverb from the Bible or from any other similar book of any religion. Use an indigenous culture´s proverbs or those from ancient cultures or hidden histories. You can write a historical novel about military dog, cat, or horse heroes.

 

Use proverbs to flesh out into a story

 

Your story line can come out of a proverb or familiar quotation based on still older proverbs of any culture. If you need a plot, a proverb is the first place to look for inspiration or a start. Many novelists use proverbs as inspiration to write one-sentence pitch lines for their novels.

 

Before you write anything, summarize the pitch line of your book in one sentence. Pretend you were selling your novel to a movie producer. Pitch the book in ten seconds or less using one sentence. Here´s one example used many times in lectures by scriptwriting course professors, "Star Trek is Wagon Train in outer space." Perhaps your historical novel resembles various popular cultures placed in a new context that can be summed up in one sentence under ten words in length.

 

Note that different publishers may require different page lengths or different numbers of chapters. So check with your publisher´s requirements if the publisher wants more or less than a book with 24 chapters, as publisher´s requirements may vary. You can write a chapter of only a few pages or many. But keep your chapter length consistent.

 

Adapting novels to scripts and plays

 

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, docudramas, 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.

Do you have the aptitude and personality to be a popular author? Professional creative writing assessments.
Do you have the aptitude and personality to be a popular author? Professional creative writing assessments. Anne Hart, book.

Do you have the aptitude and personality to be a popular author? Professional creative writing assessments.

 

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.
Who's buying which popular short fiction now, and what are they paying?
Who's buying which popular short fiction now, and what are they paying? Anne Hart, book and photography.

Who's buying which popular short fiction now, and what are they paying?

 

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.
How to start, teach, and franchise a creative genealogy writing class or club.
How to start, teach, and franchise a creative genealogy writing class or club. Anne Hart, book and photography.

How to start, teach, and franchise a creative genealogy writing class or club.

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 my instructional book 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 (Sep 20, 2007).
Cover letters, queries, follow-ups, and book proposals.
Cover letters, queries, follow-ups, and book proposals. Anne Hart, book and photography.

Cover letters, queries, follow-ups, and book proposals.

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.

Writer's Guide to Book Proposals.
Writer's Guide to Book Proposals. Anne Hart, book and photography.

Writer's Guide to Book Proposals.

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.
Murder in the women's studies department: A Professor Sleuth Novel of Mystery.

The longer version of this novel is:

 

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.

Social Smarts Strategies that Earn Free Book Publicity.
Social Smarts Strategies that Earn Free Book Publicity. Anne Hart, book and photography.

Social Smarts Strategies that Earn Free Book Publicity.

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.

Writing 45-minute, one-act plays, skits, mononologues, and animation scripts for drama workshops: Adapting current events, social issues, life stories, news, and histories.
Writing 45-minute, one-act plays, skits, mononologues, and animation scripts for drama workshops: Adapting current events, social issues, life stories, news, and histories. Anne Hart, book and photography.

Writing 45-minute, one-act plays, skits, mononologues, and animation scripts for drama workshops: Adapting current events, social issues, life stories, news, and histories.

 

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 I wrote scripts back in 2005, I used Final Draft Scriptwriter’s Suite to turn my numerous published novels into stage plays or scripts for documentaries or radio. I switched to this software because I needed multiple formats and templates.

How to video record your dog's life story.
How to video record your dog's life story. Anne Hart, book and photography.

How to video record your dog's life story.

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, I 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.

 

Writing, Financing, and Producing Documentaries: Creating Salable Reality Videos.
Writing, Financing, and Producing Documentaries: Creating Salable Reality Videos. Anne Hart, book and photography.

Writing, Financing, and Producing Documentaries: Creating Salable Reality Videos.

 

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 like the choice of template styles. That's another reason for this personal choice back then for this author during the script writing years.

30+ Brain-Exercsing Creativity Coach Businesses to Open.
30+ Brain-Exercsing Creativity Coach Businesses to Open. Anne Hart, book and photography.

30+ Brain-Exercsing Creativity Coach Businesses to Open.

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, docudramas, 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. Ethnoplayography 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 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 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, docudramas, 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.