Aiming my sights at my long term goal, I’ve been thinking about ways to improve my writing. In the next few years I’m going to be revising my Nanowrimo novels, which I think will help me gain a lot of perspective on refinement and what my future works really need. Since my long term goal however is live-action film, with a script performed by actors, I really need to exercise my script-writing skills as well.
The little experience I’ve had with script-writing so far, mostly short films and contests and such, has shown me that what I write often doesn’t sound natural when spoken. I’m sure a lot of this is because of the style I’ve developed and had reinforced by 18 years of formal education centered around reading and writing. Part of it may also just be a lack of experienced acting (myself and my non-actor friends), but I’d like to assume most of the blame myself as a writer.
Obviously the best way to improve something is to just do it over and over, until it becomes a natural process. Unfortunately my end goal is film-making which requires tremendous time and effort. It’s a multi-media work involving many many layers of creativity. The script must be written, actors must be cast, setting must be set, costumes must be crafted, props must be built, actions must be directed, filmed, edited, effects added, sounds foleyed, music scored, et cetera. Unfortunately, as this is my hobby not my job, I don’t have the time or resources to do all that as much as I would like. I do however have a plan.
Beyond just writing works to be read, I can work on writing works to be heard! A lot of science fiction was heralded by the radio. An era mostly gone these days, preserved by various archives for our listening pleasure, but scarcely ever broadcast publicly anymore. There are still radio shows, some of which I love like National Public Radio’s Lake Wobegon, and some occasional programs I hear in the car here in Japan. Most of the audio narratives these days though are audio recordings of books. Works of written literature being read by someone with a nice voice (hopefully). There are podcasts too, though from most of what I’ve heard these tend towards music, news, and non-fiction topics.
I’m considering writing a script in the vein of one of the old Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon radio shows. I can write this in my free time, send the script off to various actor friends, have them record their parts, and edit them all together myself. This method grants me a lot of freedom regarding time restraints and still allows me to work on my writing for actors, as opposed to writing for the written word.
I’ve done a little bit of podcasting in the past and I really enjoyed it, so I think I can probably pull this off. Time-wise though, it’s going straight from the idea-bin to the backburner, until I take care of a lot of more pressing issues like Japanese language proficiency testing, wedding planning, and teacher’s licensure program searching.