Disclaimer: These tutorials were written in 2011. Many of the methods used here may no longer be accurate, but I keeping the information available to hopefully steer people in the right direction.

Writing Tips

The basis of any good machinima is the writing. Unfortunately, most people avoid it entirely and take the easy route of making a music video or silent film. While writing may seem like a daunting task, it’s really not that hard (and actually a lot of fun) once you get into the swing of things. Here’s a few tips which may make things a little easier.

Start with a list of ideas
I start all my projects with nothing more than a list. Possible characters, lines of dialog, a setting, etc. Do research some research if you need to, but feel free to put down anything that pops into your head. Even if it’s not the best idea it may inspire something later.

Write everything down
Keep a text editor open at all times so you can quickly jot down notes (I like to use Notepad++). If you’re away from a computer often, consider carrying a notepad and pen with you. You never know when a good idea will strike you.

Write a rough draft
It is easier to rewrite than to come up with a perfect script on the first go. Start with a first draft that roughly connects the events. Getting that first draft done is essential, or else you may get hung up trying to make things perfect.

Revise it
Rewrite your script to fix plot holes or alter any scenes that don’t seem to flow right. Consider keeping old versions of scripts too (this can be helpful if collaborating with someone else).

Writers block?
Try taking a walk or do something different from your typical routine. A change of environment will often lead to new ideas.

Don’t wait on anything
Don’t ever feel like you have to wait for something or someone before you can begin writing. If you have the time to write, then write. Always keep this in mind.

It gets better with time
The longer you work on something, the better it will be. New ideas will come if you stick with it.

Set deadlines
Set some sort of deadlines to actually get stuff done, even if it’s not perfect. It could be a daily deadline to get a page done, or a weekly deadline to finish a script. Set these goals yourself and really try to stick to them.

Finish it
This may seem like obvious advice, but it is absolutely the most important. You must finish your script. The vast majority of people will give up before ever completing a personal project. It may begin to feel grueling and you might even look for excuses not to work on it. Getting it finished will prove to yourself and to others that you are a capable person.

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