Continuing the discussion from All female Ghostbusters cast:
That, in my extremely limited experience, is sometimes the most exhilarating and fun part: bouncing ideas off each other’s heads and seeing what we can come up with. I don’t think the bad blood comes into play until either credit arbitration or when one of us too heavily (or completely) rewrites another’s dialogue. But there’s plenty of time to kill before that point!
I think there are several (thousand) ways to go about this, the vast majority of them guaranteed to be diverting little timewasters that are doomed to go nowhere. But that’s okay: Hollywood is built on exactly that sort of firmament. The book club is something that we’re taking relatively seriously, and so we narrowed down our focus and selected our text, and now, just over a full month after it was first suggested, we’re almost ready to begin reading. Now, I’m not suggesting that that took too long (and anyway, the laser focus and tight scheduling of Badass Dragons of the Wasteland proves that my scheduling and estimating skills, coupled with my discipline and devotion to brevity, suggest images of Apocalypse Now-era Coppola mating with King Kong-era Peter Jackson in Michael Cimino’s opium-filled hot tub behind the Heaven’s Gate production office, but with Lloyd Kaufman’s devotion to quality and The Asylum’s insistence on 100% originality.), no, the book club is proceeding at a quite proper pace worthy of its intellectual and cultural standing.
Sometime maybe later this month we anticipate another Badass Space Dragon popping up hereabouts, and the Book Club Thingie isn’t a tremendously demanding time commitment, and the show I’m working on is finally winding down after seven years, and dammit I need an outlet, and I need one fast. Telling stories is fun, and doing it in screenplay format is… well, both harder and easier than it looks, but pretty damn easy if there’s absolutely nothing riding on it and you don’t care too much about it ending up good, or filmable or (heaven forfend) profitable. So I propose we write one together. You and me and whoever. For as long as it takes until it falls apart. Which might take precisely one post, I dunno.
Now, certainly there’s a “right” way to go about doing this, which I am all for, if anyone really wants to do it the right way. We could pick a genre and a target length, and spend a whole lotta time breaking a story, plotting out twists and turns and sketching out characters and all that Serious Writerly stuff. But I, myself, am not a Serious Writer. I am a 100% unpublished Amateur Hack, and though I do actually have screenwriting software (Scriptware of old, and Final Draft 7 for the past decade or so), that would be my sole advantage here. And it wouldn’t be much of an advantage if we’re trying to write something on a BBS.
We could just completely half-ass it, like those games where you write a story together and everyone just takes turns adding a sentence to the end and seeing where it goes. I like to think we could do a bit better than that, but… well, hell, the lower we set our expectations, the more likely we are to be pleasantly surprised rather than bitterly disappointed, I always say. We could maintain a Google Document that we collaborate on, and use this space here on the BBS for discussion and argument and pitching ideas… but I have a couple of caveats about that.
Even though we used a collaborative Google Docs spreadsheet or three for the Badass game, I didn’t create it, and I don’t really know how to.
Ideally, if we’re going to the trouble of creating a mutually editable document, it should be formatted like a screenplay. In other words, like this:
…and as far as I know, it might be more trouble than it’s worth to create the tabbing and capitalization macros necessary to semiautomate that formatting (which is why we use Final Draft et al). If we were to write this script purely in the BBS, we’d just go like so:
The squirrel looks darker somehow, a little more wild. It BARES ITS TEETH and displays startlingly carnivorous FANGS.
Yeah, about what I figured. You’re a bloodsucking devil-squirrel, ain’tcha?
Well, you don’t scare me none.
The kid produces another stone from his pocket: a shiny, black obsidian ball. He holds it up proudly. The squirrel HISSES.
…or some similar easy kludge. But if we’re even a wee bit serious about this, then we’d need to think of a proper mutually-editable document. And on that, I can offer no guidance, for I am a mere babe in the woods.
So whaddaya think? Should we do this fast and cheap and easy and hopelessly chaotic (but still fun), or should we try to put some, like, real effort into it?
If the former, we could just toss out a chunk (like the script page quoted above, which is the beginning of one of my own unproduced masterworks), and just take turns adding a page to it.
I dunno. I just wanna play make-believe with you guys until Badass 2 starts, and if it’s fun, even afterward.
What think you?