With the prevalence of today’s internet, there has been no better time to write for web-series (Norris, 2017). And writing I have!
Jill Remensnyder (2013) says writing your first draft is always the hardest part of the process. However, if you prepare with a treatment, step outline and beat sheet you’ll definitely break down the process and avoid hitting that brick wall alot of us are familiar with. Besides that – making time to write and pacing yourself is also key to staying sane. When you feel close to giving up, Rememnsyder says “Your first draft will not be your best writing, but it will be better than anything you don’t write!”
Snobby Robot is an online trade-style magazine dedicated to the web series community – covering series, showcasing talents, and learning how to succeed in new media.
Snobby Robot introduces us to a PCR method, as an explanation of the 3 act structure. This is (1) Problem, (2) Complication, (3) Resolution (Lawrence, 2015).
1. In Average Joe, the problem is that Joe needs money.
2. The complication isn’t only that he has to do porn to do it, but that he also struggles to get hard because his ex-wife controls him.
3. The resolution is that he develops a friendship with a co-porn star and finishes the project, gets his money and leaves the lifestyle.
In my episode (5) the problem is he wants to leave the life with Bunny, the complication is his ex-wife wants him back, the resolution is he stands up for himself – which enables him to leave.
To date here are all the completed scripts.
All 5 drafts. Even just reading from the first draft to the last, the scene has vastly changed. Bunny has gotten more dominant, Joe has become sweeter and more assertive, and Dickie is the same slime-ball he always was created to be. Also it was more crude in the earlier drafts (because that’s what the boss man wanted) but I’ve ironed all that out now and can now show something I am finally happy with.
I personally find it extremely helpful to use physical paper to edit scripts. They seem easier to read and it’s easier to scribble notes allover them. Below are some of the many notes I’ve made in the past 5 drafts.
I’ve learnt just how important multiple drafts are, especially when doing a web series.
My own experience has found that multiple drafts helps with making sure all episodes are consistent with each other, I feel like our consistency and relatedness started from very wide ending up close knit. If you’ll pardon my analogy, like an ocean coming into a creek mouth. (This happens to also be where I’m from, the Gold Coast).
The drafts also help you see the journey you’ve taken with your characters. I’ve maintained four pages throughout the process, but the content has drastically changed. I like to be able to see my writing get better and better, check it out!
Some valuable advice I found from Norris (2017)
“Continue to create.” – Kevin Sabbe of Maker Studios.
“Have your long-term goals in mind. Create a style that is uniquely yours and focus on growing your following with everything you do. Your following is your leverage in the world of entertainment and growing it takes time.” – Erik of Snobby Robot.
“My advice – take as much time as you need to make your show the best it can be, whether it’s casting, shooting each episode, editing, sound, all the technical aspects. Of course, it all means nothing without a great script. You have to write it, and then rewrite it again and again until you feel it’s the best it can be and no better, no matter how many drafts it may take.” – Chris of Snobby Robot.
Lawrence, N. (2015). How to Write a Web Series Script Using The PCR Method. Snobby Robot. Retrieved 19 July 2017, from http://snobbyrobot.com/2014/08/13/how-to-write-a-web-series-script-using-the-pcr-method/
Norris, R. (2017). How to Write a Web Series | Script Magazine. Script Magazine. Retrieved 19 July 2017, from http://www.scriptmag.com/multi-media/web-series-multi-media/
Norris, R. (2017). Writers on the Web: Interview with Kevin Sabbe of Maker Studios. Script Magazine. Retrieved 19 July 2017, from http://www.scriptmag.com/features/writers-web-interview-kevin-sabbe-maker-studios
Remensnyder, J. (2013). Your First Draft: The Easiest Hardest Draft You’ll Ever Write. Zacuto USA. Retrieved 19 July 2017, from http://www.zacuto.com/first-draft-easiest-hardest-ever-write-jill-remensnyder