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12 Things You Should Know About Writing (Abridged)
07-18-2012, 11:59 PM (This post was last modified: 07-27-2014 10:26 AM by Truthordeal.)
Post: #1
Star 12 Things You Should Know About Writing (Abridged)
Hey I found this page when I was on Stumble and I wanted to share it with you guys! It's very helpful and it applies to every area of writing even scripted parodies.

terribleminds.com Wrote:1) Forgetting the Sword
The first draft is basically just you flailing around and throwing up. All subsequent drafts are you taking that throw-up and molding it into shape. Except, ew, that?s gross. Hm. Okay. Let?s pretend you?re the Greek God Hephaestus, then. You throw up a lump of hot iron, and that?s your first draft. The rewrites are when you forge that regurgitated iron into a sword that will slay your enemies. Did Hephaestus puke up metal? He probably did. Greek myths are weird.

I see this often with people who send me their script, and I have been guilty of it as well. Finishing a scripting session can be very fulfilling. You can be extremely proud of the work you finished and may be itching to get the project started. But you have to remember, your first ideas are always going to be garbage. Very few writers can create real quality work without revisions, revisions, revisions, revisions, revisions, revisions, and more revisions. If you want to make a quality video, you simply can not record your rough draft. You have to remove the bad parts, extend the good parts, and eliminate dead air.

terribleminds.com Wrote:2) Sometimes, To Fix Something, You Have to Break it More
Pipe breaks. Water damage. Carpet, pad, floor, ceiling on the other side, furniture. You can?t fix that with duct tape and good wishes. Can?t just repair the pipe. You have to get in there. Tear shit out. Demolish. Obliterate. Replace. Your story is like that. Sometimes you find something that?s broken through and through: a cancer. And a cancer needs to be cut out. New flesh grown over excised tissue.

This is a great idea for those times when you have a bad joke. Surely you know what I mean. When you're writing a script and find yourself in a particular hairy area... So you write something down just so you can move on. But after that, that one little line sticks out like a sore thumb to you. You can't help but to dwell on how shitty it is but you don't know what to do about it. This piece of advice says: Take it out. Take out everything around it even if its good and replace it with something totally different. This might even give you an idea or allow you to combine the two ideas into something better!

terribleminds.com Wrote:3) Its Cruel to be Kind
You will do more damage to your work by being merciful. Go in cold. Emotionless. Scissors in one hand, silenced pistol in the other. The manuscript is not human. You are free to torture it wantonly until it yields what you require. You?d be amazed at how satisfying it is when you break a manuscript and force it to kneel.
Too often abridgers are nice to their characters because they like the characters. Its okay to do crazy things. Its okay to make fun of your protagonist. It shows you don't take the whole thing too seriously and can be very funny.
I recently saw somebody give some advice to a newbie recommending them to read the source manga for the anime in question before writing. I didn't interfere but I should have. Because this is a step that is wholly unnecessary for good writing. There are two types of parodies, the affectionate kind (TeamFourStar, Pokemon 'Bridged) and the unaffectionate kind (Ninjabridged, None Piece). The affectionate kind often shows the source material in a very positive light, as something that should be appreciated or enjoyed on its own. If it pokes fun of the original, its always in good spirits. The other kind is done by someone who cares very little for or has never seen the original. The results of unaffectionate parodies are often very disconnected from the original and has broader appeal. Both are funny for their own reasons, but its inappropriate to say one is better than the other.

terribleminds.com Wrote:4) The Aspiration of Reinvention
I?m not saying this needs to be the case, and it sounds horrible now, but just wait: if your final draft looks nothing like your first draft, for some bizarre-o fucking reason you feel really accomplished. It?s the same way I look at myself now and I?m all like, ?Hey, awesome, I?m not a baby anymore.? I mean, except for the diaper. What? It?s convenient. Don?t judge me, Internet. Even though that?s all you know. *sob*
You should feel great if your final revisions look nothing like the original. As a personal antidote, I rewrote episode 1 of Metabridged many times and each time, I only kept the best jokes. And I am very proud of the end result. Episode 2, however, I did not spend as much time rewriting and I personally feel the seams are much more visible. It's not refined like the first and has some jokes that fall a little flat. I wish I had spent more time developing it and I would hate to see anyone else make the same mistake. So just like the first rule, continuously revise your first draft.

terribleminds.com Wrote:5) Palate Clenser
Take time away from the manuscript before you go at it all tooth-and-claw. You need time. You need to wash that man right out of your hair. Right now, you either love it too much or hate its every fiber. You?re viewing it as the writer. You need to view it as a reader, as a distant third-party editor flying in from out of town and who damn well don?t give a fuck. From subjective to objective. Take a month if you can afford it. Or write something else: even a short story will serve as a dollop of sorbet on your brain-tongue to cleanse the mind-palate. Anything to shift perspective from ?writer? to ?reader.?
This is some of the most helpful advice in the article and I have found working on my latest project that it really really works. If you remember that your rough draft is always garbage, then you can start to plan ahead to revise and that will become a part of the process. Give yourself some time before going back to a script. Take a breather. Go have a nap, go run errands, go do something with your friends go to sleep then check it out in the morning. Do anything it takes to completely remove yourself from the project for a while. You aren't getting paid. You don't have a deadline. Take as long as you want. If the end result is a good 5 minute video, then all those breaks were worth putting off the upload date.

By putting some space between revisions, you're giving yourself some time to refresh. You're coming back with a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective and you are SO MUCH more likely to see what you wrote objectively (read: as a reader and not the writer) that it will really help you plan out what you can change for the better.

terribleminds.com Wrote:6) The Bugfuck Contingency
You?ll know if it?s not time to edit. Here?s a sign: you go to tackle the edit and it feels like your head and heart are filled with bees. You don?t know where to start. You?re thinking of either just walking away forever or planting a narrative suitcase bomb in the middle of the story and blowing it all to H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks. That means you?re not ready. You?re too bugfuck to go forward. Ease off the throttle, hoss. Come back another time, another way. Cool down.

7) The Proper Mindset
Editing, revising, rewriting requires a certain mindset. That mindset is, ?I am excited to destroy the enemy that resists good fiction, I am ready to fix all the shit that I broke, I am eager to shave off barnacles and burn off fat and add layers of laser-proof steel and get this motherfucker in fit fighting shape so that no other story may stand before it.? You gotta be hungry to fuck up your own work in the name of good storytelling.
You are your worst enemy when it comes to scripting. You hate what you do. Admit it. Its not as good as other people. You know this. Everybody knows this about themselves. When you start to spiral in that negativity, it might start to affect you emotionally. You might become cold and callace. You may stop watching new abridged shows because you're already sure its shit. Suddenly the whole process has lost its magic and now you're left trying to regain that excitement and possibility that inspired you to start in the first place. Don't allow yourself to become a negative nancy. Give yourself some space. Just like a relationship with a great girl or guy. You can't stay together all the time even though you want to. You'll get sick of each other then all that infatuation is gone.

terribleminds.com Wrote:8) Go In With a Plan or Drown in Darkness
You write your first draft however you want. Outline, no outline, finger-painted on the back of a Waffle House placemat in your own feces, I don?t care. But you go to attack a rewrite without a plan in mind, you might as well be a chimpanzee humping a football helmet. How do you know what to fix if you haven?t identified what?s broken? This isn?t time for intuition. Have notes. Put a plan in place. Surgical strike.
This is what separates pros from amateurs. Writers, I mean, there are no pro abridgers that would be absurd.... More absurd than it abridging itself, I mean. Going in cold works sometimes but it always helps to plan ahead. Structure your restructuring.

terribleminds.com Wrote:9) Don't Rewrite in a Vacuum
You write the first draft in isolation. Just you, your keyboard, a story, some industrial lubricant and a handgun. All other drafts are part of a team initiative. SWAT, kicking in windows, identifying perps. Beta readers, editors, agents, wives, friends, itinerant strangers, hostages, whatever. Get someone to read your nonsense. Get notes. Attend to those notes. Third parties will see things you do not.
Have a group of beta testers that you can rely on. Get as wide a range of people you can. But try not to pick someone who will just pat your back. Pick someone who isn't afraid to hurt your feelings. That's when you will get the best results.

terribleminds.com Wrote:10) Embrace the Intervention of Notes
You get notes, it?s tough. It?s like coming home and being surrounded by friends and family, and they want you to sit down and listen as they talk about getting you unfettered from your addiction to obscure 80s hair-bands and foul Lithuanian pornography. But listen to those notes. They may be hard but they?re both instructive and constructive. They are a dear favor, so do not waste them.

11) But Always Check Your Gut
When someone says ?follow your gut,? it?s because your intestinal tract is home to an infinite multitude of hyper-intelligent bacterial flora. It knows what?s up if you can tune to its gurgling frequency. You get notes and they don?t feel exactly right, check the gut. Here?s the thing, though. Notes, even when you don?t agree, usually point out something about your manuscript. It may highlight a flaw or a gap. But it can also be instructive in the sense that, each note is a test, and if you come up more resolute about some part of your manuscript, that?s okay, too. Two opinions enter, one opinion leaves. Welcome to Chunderdome..
Notes. No notes. This guy says check your gut if the notes aren't working. Sure sure. That works.

terribleminds.com Wrote:12) Hire an Editor
Editors do not exist to hurt you. They exist to hurt your manuscript. In the best way possible. They are the arbiters of the toughest, smartest love. A good editor shall set you ? and the work ? free.
This is tougher with scripting because a lot of what we do is visual. Also everything we do is free so don't hire anybody. But if you trust someone enough to look at your script, there's never any harm in that.

A lot of what follows only applies to story writing. But its still worth a shot. Once again that URL is:
http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/06/...rewriting/

Read it.
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07-19-2012, 12:40 AM
Post: #2
RE: 12 Things You Should Know About Writing (Abridged)
(07-18-2012 11:59 PM)Innagadadavida Wrote:  Have a group of beta testers that you can rely on. Get as wide a range of people you can. But try not to pick someone who will just pat your back. Pick someone who isn't afraid to hurt your feelings. That's when you will get the best results.

Ya I showed my Voltron script to over 10 people and all I got form every one of them was "It was good I couldn't find anything wrong with it" I'm really glad that it doesn't have something so obviously bad with it that an average person can detect but I honestly don't belive it's perfect. There has to be a joke that doesn't work somewhere in there. I need someone who's willing to tear it down, and knows what there doing.

For the record I do actally think my scirpt is mostly good, it's just can't be as faultless as what people are saying. The recording is also already done so any reviews of that one script won't really matter anyway, I would like better critiques in the future though.

Maybe we should make an Adridged Forums script reviewing Skype group. Or is there already something like that?

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07-19-2012, 12:41 AM (This post was last modified: 07-19-2012 12:46 AM by concrete Building.)
Post: #3
RE: 12 Things You Should Know About Writing (Abridged)
Read the whole thing.

I'm very surprised a lot others from that didn't end up here, i.e. the spreadsheets and reading the damn thing aloud. I know TFS does this, and I do remember it being mentioned during the last AF Live event.

I also saw a lot here that applies to video editing. Hell, there are a lot here that are the same in VAing, as well.

(07-19-2012 12:40 AM)Discount_Flunky Wrote:  Maybe we should make an Adridged Forums script reviewing Skype group. Or is there already something like that?

we already have an AF Skype group. I'll add you, if you wish. I'm very sure Matt and Hawk would be willing to review your script.
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07-19-2012, 12:50 AM (This post was last modified: 07-19-2012 12:51 AM by Discount_Flunky.)
Post: #4
RE: 12 Things You Should Know About Writing (Abridged)
(07-19-2012 12:41 AM)concrete Building Wrote:  we already have an AF Skype group. I'll add you, if you wish. I'm very sure Matt and Hawk would be willing to review your script.

Matt and Hawk did review it. They were the first people I went to. Like I said, they just gave me their overall opinion, they didn't dissect it. I'm glad they found it to be good over all, but it's the subtle things that make or brake you, and that is what I'm more interested in knowing.

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07-19-2012, 12:57 AM
Post: #5
RE: 12 Things You Should Know About Writing (Abridged)
Well, if you see flaws, fix them. You want to have a project you'll be proud of. Besides, if you read all of them, at least half of these tell you to redo it, make changes, mark it up. You want what you make to be the awesomeness in your head, so make it so.

Basically this is a roundabout way of saying #11 here.
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07-19-2012, 06:05 PM
Post: #6
RE: 12 Things You Should Know About Writing (Abridged)
I'm moving this to How-To's and Walkthroughs. Seems like a good place to be. Smile
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01-04-2014, 11:23 PM
Post: #7
RE: 12 Things You Should Know About Writing (Abridged)
This was very enlightening, especially #6 and #7. I've been there, multiple times. I'm ready to go with an abridged, and suddenly, I stop dead in the water. We go multiple sessions where, instead of producing lines, we watch anime. That is why I lost interest in the past. I was trying to force it Big Grin

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