Script Frenzy Kid: An Interview with Elizabeth Ryan

It’s getting closer and closer to April 1, which means it’s almost Script Frenzy time! Are you ready to draft an entire screenplay (or TV script, play, or graphic novel) in one month? The masterminds behind NaNoWriMo are challenging you to do just that.

For those ambitious writers out there: if you want to get a head start on your masterpiece, you can post the treatment (a brief summary in 300 words or fewer) of your planned screenplay on Figment for a chance to win a phone consultation with Scott Myers! And you can join the official Script Frenzy group here.

For inspiration, check out this interview with seasoned Frenzier, Elizabeth Ryan.

How did you hear about Script Frenzy?

I found out about Script Frenzy from the NaNoWriMo website.

Tell us about your experience with scriptwriting. Have you written anything before, or will Script Frenzy be your first experience?

This will be my second year doing Script Frenzy.  I attempted and achieved my goal in Script Frenzy YWP last year and just couldn’t wait to try again.

Before Script Frenzy I had written a few scripts, such as a Christmas puppet show for the younger students when I was in primary school and scripts for Tournament of Minds – a problem solving competition in which you are judged on a scripted performance.  However until I did Script Frenzy last year I had no idea about the correct way to format a script and had never even heard of slug lines or loglines.

What’s the title of the script you’re planning? What’s it about? Is it a film, TV show, play, or comic book?

This year I’m planning to write a screenplay entitled ‘The Dark Heart’, which will be the sequel to the script I wrote last year.  It’s an urban fantasy about a kidnapped boy trying to return to his family, who learns that family isn’t necessarily only those you’re related to.

What techniques are you using to plan your script?

I’m more of a ‘pantser’ than a planner, so I haven’t done a lot of planning, at least not on paper.  I’ve made some character profiles and have thought out some of the major scenes.  I have a pretty good idea of the plot of my script, in my head, but not on paper.  Currently I am trying to come up with my logline so that I have a clear idea of the protagonist’s goal and major journey.

Who are your scriptwriting heroes? Who will you look to for guidance this April?

I’m a big fan of Martin Gero, Steven Thompson, Jeff Eastin and Andrew Adamson.  I also greatly admire all of the staff at the Office of Letters and Light.

How do you plan to get through 30 days of scriptwriting next month?

I’m lucky that the for the first two weeks of April I’m on school holidays and as such should (hopefully) have lots of time to write.  During those two weeks I’m planning on giving myself a bit of a page-count buffer, so when I get back to school I won’t have as much to write.  I’m really going to try to stay ahead of the daily page-count goal and maybe finish a few days early.

I will also probably think out the scenes I will write the next day before I go to sleep, so that when I have time to write I can get straight into it and not have to work out what needs to happen.

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