Scriptwriting is probably not my thing.

I began this scriptwriting class for a number of reasons.

Tomorrow after class, I’ll head over to Counseling and see if letting this go will affect my financial aid at all.  I don’t think it will — at least, it probably won’t unless I get a C average in two out of three classes in Fall (not going to happen — at least not so unless I neglect to turn something in, in both of my classes) or I withdraw from 2 out of 3 classes in Fall (also probably not going to happen).

At this point, I haven’t done my homework for tomorrow.  One of the reasons I tried taking this class was to see if I really wanted to write scripts for graphic novels.  This class doesn’t focus on graphic novels, but on film and animation, where narration is entirely absent.  This is a problem for me because of my writing and thinking style — most of my dilemmas are internal, not external.  It’s a bit of a stretch to try and illustrate internal dilemmas through action.

So, this is not the right class to learn how to write graphic novel scripts, unless one wants to write action-based graphic novels.

Another reason I took this class is that I wanted to see if I could write stories in a way that was healthy for me, and this is definitely not healthy.  I’m dark and irritable and angry right now, and I get even more resistant when I try to focus on my homework.

Last week, every day I came home from class, I would go right back to sleep, then stay up and do my homework until around midnight, then get up around 7 AM to get to class on time.  This is a recipe for depression, when even a healthy adult needs 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  As I said before, I realized that I was using caffeine to stay up so that I could write; when what I needed to be doing was decreasing the medication I’m on which is a sedative and risk having a depressive episode.  As things are going now, I may have pushed myself into a mild depression because of the sleep disarrangement and unpleasant mental focus, which means that I can’t drop down on that medication right now unless I want things to get a lot worse, very quickly.

As for homework content, I find myself zooming in on high school traumas and idiocies which I don’t want to relive (and writing about them causes me to relive them), but which are the strongest stories in my mind.  I’m told (by family who can see that I’m visibly upset) to make something up instead of going by the book and doing something autobiographical like I was assigned.  It’s tempting, but what I really want to do is fantasy (a freedom that exists in fiction, graphic novels, and animation, but not so much in film), and that’s going to be obviously not autobiographical.

The other reason I thought this would be a good class to take is that I was considering going down the Animation and/or Video tracks at my college; however, I’m pretty sure now that this is not what I want to do.  At least, it’s not what I want to do if I’m going to be a writer.

So there are two good things that have arisen out of this:

  1. I know now that I don’t want to work in animation or film as a writer.
  2. I know now that writing screenplays can trigger whatever it was in reality, which stopped me from writing fiction this last time.

Of course, though, there is also the fact that the subject matter of this writing centered around sexual harassment, homophobia, transphobia, rejection, and sexuality as a youth.  One version included an instance of sexual assault.  Probably all of those are really strong things to be writing about, and I was dealing with all of them at once during the time of this screenplay, in addition to racism and sexism.  Life was pretty hard for me to tolerate, then.  It actually took me about a decade to be able to get out of what I’d been dealing with through all of my teen years, and so obviously I don’t want to rehash it again.

But I couldn’t think of anything more significant to write about.  If I ask myself where the main story of my life is, it begins there.

The fact right now is, though, that I’m not doing a good job of managing my mental health while pushing myself to write about this.  Granted that if I was writing what I actually wanted to be writing, or if I didn’t have a traumatic and troubled past that filled up most of my “autobiography” (which is what we have to draw from for this assignment), maybe things would be different.  And maybe if I wasn’t shouted down for saying that white heterosexual experience is not universal, on top of all this, I might feel better about it.  But that’s not what happened, and that’s not what’s happening.

I feel the need to begin scheduling these posts to go out during the daytime.  🙂  But I’m kind of sick in the head, so I’ll post now.  😉


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

3 thoughts on “Scriptwriting is probably not my thing.”

  1. I’m sorry to hear about all of the trouble that screenplay class is giving you 😦 When I first started learning about creating graphic novels and graphic novel scripts, I had a lot of trouble finding a format to write in. If you still think you might enjoy writing one, I highly recommend watching this video:
    It helped me create a format that was a mix of screenplay and script, which I made a post about a few months ago:
    Your class sounds pretty horrible, but I hope it doesn’t discourage you from trying out writing for graphic novels. It’s a lot more enjoyable when you can choose whatever you want to write about. I’m sorry about all of the difficulties you had to go through in your life, and I hope you feel better soon 🙂

  2. Thank you for your reply, Tori! Apologies for the delay — I had to get my stuff together.

    The script format shown at the beginning of the YouTube video you linked was actually the format we were being taught in class. I had to take to paper and pen to write out my script because otherwise I was like, “where does this letter go?” and, “where do I put the tab stop?” and “do I really need to write that bit?” (ah, minimalism) and that was taking away from my thinking about any plot development or storyline whatsoever.

    Realistically, I’m thinking that content matters more than format…what that class was teaching was how to write to a predetermined format, in a fill-in-the-blank type of manner. I am coming from a background where I trained in fiction writing at the University level, though…which, at least for me, was a lot freer.

    But still, the last time I was writing fiction, I was really depressed and messed-up. (I’m actually amazed that I made it through to graduation, when maybe the thing to do was withdraw, take care of myself, and rethink my options — instead of barreling through with the only thing I felt I could consistently do. If I’d thought there would be any good future in it, I might have gone for Japanese Language & Literature, or Art, instead; but I could not see any light there.) Part of the reason I tried this class out was to see if I could write and not get depressed again, but I think the subject matter I chose disallowed that.

    Thank you for the links, and the encouragement. I’m thinking that eventually I may give this another shot, but at that time it’ll be actually creative and not just scrubbing at old wounds…(sorry, that’s kind of gross…) 😛

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