8 votes

What are you doing this week?

This topic is part of a weekly series. It is meant to be a place for users to discuss their week.

If you have any plans, goals, accomplishments, or even failures, whether they be personal or work related, I'd love to hear about them. This is a place for casual discussion about your week, past, present, and future.

A list of all previous topics in this series can be found here.

So, what (or how) are you doing this week?

18 comments

  1. zara
    Link
    I have to hold back so much right now. My mother is getting worse (they had to put a tube in her mouth to get air directly to her lungs) and my dad is insufferable. My older brother has gone back...

    I have to hold back so much right now. My mother is getting worse (they had to put a tube in her mouth to get air directly to her lungs) and my dad is insufferable. My older brother has gone back to school and I just want to run away, but I can't.

    My mom's not coming home.

    11 votes
  2. [11]
    escher
    Link
    Picking up my art practice again almost a year after I originally started. I'd fallen into severe alcoholism and depression (as a result of working at Amazon, quit after six months) which killed...

    Picking up my art practice again almost a year after I originally started. I'd fallen into severe alcoholism and depression (as a result of working at Amazon, quit after six months) which killed off all of my hobbies for months and months. Picking the pieces back up as best I can.

    Also diving back into my screenplays, and wrote a feature-length reboot of "The Phantom Menace" as a writing exercise.

    6 votes
    1. [10]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Share the reboot screenplay? Also: any advice for an amateur screenwriter? Not that I ever expect my work to end up on the screen: I just want my skill to grow.

      Share the reboot screenplay?

      Also: any advice for an amateur screenwriter? Not that I ever expect my work to end up on the screen: I just want my skill to grow.

      3 votes
      1. [9]
        escher
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Star Wars Redone - Episode 1: The Phantom Menace -- this is the reddit-sanitized version so my personal info isn't on the title page. :) The biggest complaint I got is that it takes way too long...

        Star Wars Redone - Episode 1: The Phantom Menace -- this is the reddit-sanitized version so my personal info isn't on the title page. :)

        The biggest complaint I got is that it takes way too long to get to the first action sequence, so I'll eventually be tacking on a new sequence to the beginning, once I've figured out how I want it to play out.

        It was a ton of fun to write. If you only count the days I worked on it, I did this in two weeks, and the first forty pages were written in three days. Fastest I've ever written ever.

        On writing a screenplay:

        • Get a screenplay writing program! It's absolutely ridiculous just how much having the formatting taken care of for you helps -- you get to focus solely on the writing and this is super important. I started with Final Draft, but currently use Fade In Pro (about $80) since I've switched to linux as my primary system and Fade In was the best program I could find that'll run on it.
        • Brevity! Keep those action blocks as short and as concise as possible. This is hard and it took me a long time figure this out. You'll keep trying to insert all these tiny little details, describing what you see in your head, and it's very difficult to let all that go. Most action blocks should be 1-2 lines. Some can be 3, very rarely 4, and anything five or more lines should be split up into separate action blocks. Only include what is crucial, brutally cut everything else.
        • Action blocks should describe only what can be seen on the screen. Spending a lot of words describing a character's internal mental state is useless -- the audience can't see that! You have to get all that across visually and through dialog.
        • Don't worry about outlining, don't force yourself into a 3-act structure, don't have characters bicker pointlessly because "you have to have conflict!". Just tell your story one scene at a time. I generally start writing when I have a basic idea on the opening, the general direction of the story, and a few scenes in my head scattered throughout. Then I just write and let the story crystallize around all of that.
        • Dialog can be tough. I spent 10 years on another sci-fi script that really helped me hone my dialog chops and it was rough going. But now? I can write dialog fairly easily -- try to hear the characters speaking in your head and keep it as natural-sounding as you can. Another big dialog issue a lot of new writers have is they make their characters directly state what they're feeling. To quote Futurama: "You can't just have characters say what they feel! That makes me feel angry!"
        • Get criticism from others, when you can. Know that the hardest part of writing a screenplay is just getting others to read it, but if they do? Listen to what they say about it. Don't dive in and implement changes to every thing they think is wrong with it, but try to understand why they have issues with those parts and see what you can figure out to fix those things, if they do indeed need fixing at all. Also, the hardest part of receiving criticism is that it hurts. I mean, it really fucking hurts, and a lot of new writers will take it as a personal attack. They stop listening to criticism, and as a result they will never get better at writing.
        • And finally: your first screenplay is going to suck. Best thing to do is make yourself finish it, all the way to the end, regardless of quality. Aim for 90-120 pages (hour and a half / two hours). Just doing that will teach you more about writing a screenplay than any book, course, or random internet guy like me.
        8 votes
        1. [8]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          Thanks a lot! I appreciate the insight. How important is formatting to writing a screenplay? Can you not approximate the thing in Notepad, and format afterwards? Is the length important because of...

          Thanks a lot! I appreciate the insight.

          How important is formatting to writing a screenplay? Can you not approximate the thing in Notepad, and format afterwards? Is the length important because of the 1 page = 1 minute rough equivalency, and you can't get a sense of the length because of lacking the format?

          When you say "action blocks", what are you referring to, exactly? Is it a set of actions within one scene? Is it the violent type of action, with fights and explosions? I have experience in prose writing but not in screenplays.

          3 votes
          1. [7]
            escher
            Link Parent
            Way more important than you'd initially think. I don't really know how to put it into words, but if you're going to write a screenplay, it's best you stick to the format, and use a program that...

            How important is formatting to writing a screenplay?

            Way more important than you'd initially think. I don't really know how to put it into words, but if you're going to write a screenplay, it's best you stick to the format, and use a program that handles that formatting automatically. Having that dialog centered and at that specific width gives you the proper timing and flow of what you're writing, and is easy to read, to boot.

            Action blocks are the descriptive non-dialog text that describe the scene and what's going on in it.

            4 votes
            1. [6]
              ThatFanficGuy
              Link Parent
              What's the significance of separating action blocks and/or keeping them short? Is one action block supposed to represent one scene as filmed?

              What's the significance of separating action blocks and/or keeping them short? Is one action block supposed to represent one scene as filmed?

              2 votes
              1. [5]
                escher
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                It keeps the screenplay focused on the necessary. The best example I can think of is the first real screenplay I tried to write, the first in a trilogy. The story is quite good, but my initial...

                What's the significance of separating action blocks and/or keeping them short?

                It keeps the screenplay focused on the necessary.

                The best example I can think of is the first real screenplay I tried to write, the first in a trilogy. The story is quite good, but my initial writing was not. I got 40 pages out and it read practically like a novel, with massive action blocks describing every single little detail of the scene and the actions taking place in it. It made the thing practically unreadable.

                After finally listening to the criticism I was getting on that opening, I did a quick pass to cut out a lot of (ultimately) unnecessary information and the thing shrunk down to 20 pages. I gave up on that story then, finally understanding I did not have the writing skill to pull it off. I'll be revisiting it soon (I started it something like 13 years ago or so), and I'll bet that once I apply my current scriptwriting abilities to that opening, it's probably only 15 pages of material or thereabouts.

                Not only is it important for keeping to the rough average of 1-minute-per-page (action is denser, dialog is fluffier, and the imbalance usually cancels out), it also makes the screenplay really flow when reading it -- you get the timing / pacing of what's to happen on the screen as you read it, letting you watch the movie in your head as you make your way through the script.

                If you really want to experience the sheer horror that is trying to read a script full of large action blocks, try getting through this Dragonball Z script posted to reddit awhile back. Some of the action blocks are in the neighborhood of 13+ lines long, massive walls of overly-descriptive action sequences.

                Compare that to my sci-fi script, which, while wobbly in bits, keeps the action blocks much shorter while still describing quite a bit of action in detail. I'd say go ahead and jump to the middle (say, page 70 or so) where the story switches to a more action-driven narrative, if you're just using it to study the mechanics of screenplay writing.

                3 votes
                1. [4]
                  ThatFanficGuy
                  Link Parent
                  Would you be open to more questions once I read the scripts?

                  Would you be open to more questions once I read the scripts?

                  2 votes
                  1. [3]
                    escher
                    (edited )
                    Link Parent
                    Absolutely. That one I posted, "The Kuiper Anomaly" is about half good writing, half "needs work" writing. The Star Wars reboot probably makes for a better study, but keep in mind I omitted a lot...

                    Absolutely.

                    That one I posted, "The Kuiper Anomaly" is about half good writing, half "needs work" writing. The Star Wars reboot probably makes for a better study, but keep in mind I omitted a lot of description detail due to the movie world already existing, so it might be overly-concise when it comes to the environments and visual look of the thing.

                    Edit: I totally missed your other question of "what is an action block"? That's just a set of description / action text with no line break, like a small paragraph. Often just 1-2 sentences and should convey a single or small set of related actions / reactions / moments.

                    3 votes
                    1. [2]
                      ThatFanficGuy
                      Link Parent
                      No, you haven't. :)

                      I totally missed your other question of "what is an action block"?

                      No, you haven't. :)

                      1. escher
                        Link Parent
                        Just wanted to clarify on this question: Or maybe it was obvious? I dunno, I was getting tired and a bit loopy. Happens when the cat decides 4am is a perfectly reasonable time to get the human up.

                        Just wanted to clarify on this question:

                        Is one action block supposed to represent one scene as filmed?

                        Or maybe it was obvious? I dunno, I was getting tired and a bit loopy. Happens when the cat decides 4am is a perfectly reasonable time to get the human up.

  3. ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    Working on Intergrid, still. Last week, I've revamped the underlying engine for a prettier code. The original has gotten messy and ugly, and I was too anxious to work on it because of that. Now...

    Working on Intergrid, still.

    Last week, I've revamped the underlying engine for a prettier code. The original has gotten messy and ugly, and I was too anxious to work on it because of that. Now that there isn't an original piece of code left, I'm too anxious to work on it because I'm afraid to mess up the virgin beauty.

    That said, I was able to restore the initial render of the board, the code for which is now streamlined and... well, at least homely.

    This week, I'm hoping to restore the origina functionality. The piece of work I foresee most difficult – yet yielding the highest benefit – is the first-party hotkey that's going to replace Mousetrap. Mousetrap is an excellent library when you have a limited set of hotkeys you want to track under specific circumstances.

    What I end up needing is a library that can handle all keypresses, because symbol-yielding non-hotkeys will end up triggering eager editing on a selected node. Using Mousetrap – or any other hotkey library – would prove burdensome and potentially anti-user. By combining a wide approach with using a many native browser capabilities, I'm hoping to include all who would be able to user Indigrid otherwise.

    Meanwhile, I've acquired a folder of music titled "1001 Songs You Have to Listen to Before You Die". 10 songs every Sunday should leave me with many new styles to discover for a while.

    4 votes
  4. ThyMrMan
    (edited )
    Link
    Filling out job applications and studying for a certification exam I hope to take next week. Hopefully the two go hand in hand. Would be nice to finally manage to get somewhere instead of driving...

    Filling out job applications and studying for a certification exam I hope to take next week. Hopefully the two go hand in hand. Would be nice to finally manage to get somewhere instead of driving all around for 20 minute interviews that I never get calls back for.

    Also should sit down and finally update my little blog/review site with custom css and html5, instead of the current default layout. Maybe even mess around with my media servers webpage to make it actually usefull, but that is a bit more of a longshot.

    Edit: Welp, seems like I got another thing to add to the list. Clean up some space on my servers root partition, went to mess around and found out I had filled it up somehow already. Was hoping I wouldn't have to bother with this before being able to get a new server and do an even better job setting it up this time, but nothing ever goes to plan.

    Edit #2: Isn't it great when the solution is simple and comes down to being an idiot and forgetting to set up a method to clear logs automatically. One of my docker containers had a 14gig log file just sucking up that space. Problem solved.

    4 votes
  5. hungariantoast
    Link
    This week I'll be doing a bunch of homework, studying for a test that's due next week, and writing my final paper for this semester. I'll also continue to work on my novel for NaNoWriMo. Friday...

    This week I'll be doing a bunch of homework, studying for a test that's due next week, and writing my final paper for this semester. I'll also continue to work on my novel for NaNoWriMo.

    Friday I'll wrap the week up by going for a bike ride with a friend. I bought a road bike yesterday to change up my commute to school and I'm eager to put some miles on it.

    1 vote
  6. xstresedg
    (edited )
    Link
    My partner switches shifts tomorrow to days only for the next couple months due to company related shenans, so we'll be spending evenings and weekends together more often. I'll be working my dev...

    My partner switches shifts tomorrow to days only for the next couple months due to company related shenans, so we'll be spending evenings and weekends together more often. I'll be working my dev into there somewhere for my Timasomo project, Hope: The Stolen Wish. I will most likely update it there first before Twitter or Instagram, but they will receive updates eventually, likely within a day or two after.

    ###Happened last week but I don't think I was on Tildes as much last week:
    I'm also a minor contributor to the TetraForce, having created a few basic emotes for the Discord server, and hopefully they will fit within the game's chat function itself.

    I've also been asked to contribute to another project, when it comes to the point that they're creating content to release with the project. I'm just sitting and waiting to find out what they would like me to do, and I hope that I'll be able to provide something worth while. I don't know the public status of this project, and they don't have any social media or websites for it yet anyway, so I'll not go into any specifics regarding it, though I hope I can eventually share something with everyone for it and help get them some publicity once it's announceable.

    EDIT: I've also now set up a Discord server for my website which can be accessed here. It's something I've done this week hahaha.

  7. loto
    Link
    Trying to turn around my AVR Assembly course mark - I put it on the back burner earlier in my semester because my other marks were slipping and I was doing okay in assembly, but now the...

    Trying to turn around my AVR Assembly course mark - I put it on the back burner earlier in my semester because my other marks were slipping and I was doing okay in assembly, but now the situation's just reversed, and I'm in a bit of a hole (each week's lab builds on the previous, so I have to fix a few weeks of previous issues). I'll hopefully make it through, though, and if I don't I just have to retake the course, which I've learned isn't as huge a setback as I once thought.