I am a Script Frenzy dropout.
There, I said it.
(What is Script Frenzy? Well, it’s the little cousin of NaNoWriMo – little in the sense that fewer people seem to participate. Basic idea? Write a one hundred page script during April. And NaNoWriMo – long name, National Novel Writing Month – is a web-based event in which people try to write a short (fifty thousand word) novel during November, while encouraging each other on message boards. (The boards are also a feature of Screnzy, above.). The month is November; the nationality, these days, is whichever one you prefer – NaNo has become very international. I love it because it’s challenging and kind of goofy and reminds me that I’m not the only fool in the world trying to learn how to tell a story that other people might want to read.)
I tried to write a graphic novel script, I really did. And the format won. The problem is not so much what you have to write for a script. It’s what you can’t write. It’s not so much working with a verbal medium. It’s leaving it up to somebody else to tell your story – your story – in a visual medium. It’s not learning how to maintain continuity in a new type of storytelling. It’s having to break continuity every few lines to keep from making a panel that’s the fearsome wall’o’text.
I’m used to walls’o’text. Novels are walls of text, walls that I walk through with the greatest of ease when I’m reading, and build with immense effort when I’m writing. But even when the characters turn into puppets and the language sounds like it was translated into English from Nahuatl by someone who only speaks Basque and the plot is as improbable as that last simile, even then, novels are easier to write than scripts. Writing a script was like taking two or three steps and then realizing that somebody had tied my shoelaces together, even though I’m not wearing shoes with laces.
Well, for this year.