How To Write A Simpsons Script

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TheLeader
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Re: How To Write A Simpsons Script

Post by TheLeader » Tue May 03, 2005 8:57 am

I guess I just don't like prose fanfic because "The Simpsons" isn't prose. I also don't like dramatic fanfic because "The Simpsons" isn't dramatic (at least, as opposed to comedy). I like the Simpsons how they are, as they're supposed to be. Those are the Simpsons I fell in love with. Anything else just isn't the Simpsons. You can't transpose the Simpsons into prose, or even change the entire genre, and expect it to be as good the show we all love. Some of the fanfic on this site is an affront to why I became a Simpsons fan in the first place. I can understand wanting to try new things, I just want you to understand where I'm coming from, here.

The guide above is honestly there just so people can learn to write the Simpsons as close to what it was meant to be as possible. It's by no means complete, and by all means a little harsh, but there IS a right way to write a Simpsons episode (and that's not just me saying that). Look at any real Simpsons script, ask any television writer, and they'll tell you the same thing.

In regards to your simplistic criticism of my simplistic criticism, I obviously can't give specific advise to a non-existant script. And I don't think you already know to do those things, because it's not apparent that you're doing them. Whether or not writing improves due to criticism is moot here because almost every review of every script is just bursting with praise for said script's hilarity. What do you learn from that? That something that's not funny is really funny?

But maybe I expect too much. This isn't a writing workshop, it's a love fest. I'll try to be more accommodating in future posts. As you can see, I'm REALLY jaded.

Sorry for the rant.
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Re: How To Write A Simpsons Script

Post by Dagdamor » Tue May 03, 2005 11:23 am

Know what? This thread is damn interesting to read. At least, for me.

TheLeader, of course you're right in certain points. But again, please don't value all people with the same ruler. I'm a big Simpsons fan (at least I think so), and when I discovered many brilliant stories about the Simpsons here, dramatic, not comedy, and written in prose, my fandom world expanded a lots.

I still adore Graham's "Child of Darkness". I understand that this story is *very* unusual, but what the heck, I cannot forget the impression I've got after reading it first time.
I still adore Jenny's "Lisa Fitzgerald". Again, most of the people could say it has nothing to do with the Simpsons, it's violent and so on. I don't care. This is still the best fanfic I've read ever.

Scripted comedy stories? That's great, but this is not what I need really. If I want to see comedy story about the Simpsons, I'll just watch any real episode. I have nothing against "Spec Scripts", but this is not what I expect from the Simpsons fandom.

Again, just my opinion, nothing more.
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Re: How To Write A Simpsons Script

Post by Archonix » Tue May 03, 2005 12:10 pm

I'm glad I decided to unhypocrite myself... ;)

Yes, Child of Darkness, 56 pages of complete crazy. That was a Simpsons book...

For various reasons I agree with Chris's (Immaterial's) point of view. Writing stories that are meant to resemble the show should try to emulate it as much as possible... that said, writing in prose is only like writing a tie-in book for a TV series. It allows for unusual explorations of the characters and presents the challenge of keeping them in character without the usual cues that a script would provide.
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Re: How To Write A Simpsons Script

Post by SirMustapha » Tue May 03, 2005 12:21 pm

Different people want different things, I guess. Nothing wrong with you willing to read/write fanfic that looks exactly like the show itself. That's quite fine. Comedy is always good. When I found the fabulous world of Fanfiction, I started reading a couple of comedy fanfic (in script) and it was all fine. But once I read Graham's "Lisa^2", my life changed.

For better, I mean. *phew*

I guess I (and other people) are exactly expecting to see a different approach on The Simpsons. It's a comedy show, alright, but nothing tells us the characters, settings and stories should be used strictly for comedy. There are some brilliant dramatic moments on the TV show already, so why not expand that into a full blown story? That's what fanfic is there, you know: exploring possibilities that we would never see in the show. That's why fanfic is fun to write, read and review.

But I suppose some people don't want drama, and that's alright. I guess those people will have some time to get acclimated to the kind of stuff we write (and the kind of people we are, after all) if they want to get along. I mean... we are way too traditional to be changed. ;) :-\ ;D
"Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles"

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Re: How To Write A Simpsons Script

Post by TheLeader » Tue May 03, 2005 9:55 pm

I think we understand one another right now.

I'll try reading some of the odder fanfic on this site, see if something changes my mind.

Glad I could put up an interesting thread.
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TheLeader
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Re: How To Write A Simpsons Script

Post by TheLeader » Wed May 04, 2005 12:49 am

Back to zero!
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Re: How To Write A Simpsons Script

Post by EvilCupcake » Wed May 04, 2005 2:05 pm

The Leader, you clearly have no concept of fanfiction. The style of writing here may not be to your taste but it is to ours, accept that, and you will be much more welcome here. And prose does not harm jokes. If you will allow me a shameless plug, search the Futurama Fanfic boards for these scripts,

Right And Wong

The Last Action Ranger

Judgeing Amy Kroker

Return To Roswell

Those are written by me, all have jokes in them and all are written in prose.

Also read these fics,

Lisa^2
Lisa Fitzgerald
Child Of Darkness
Destiny Of A Homer
A Past With No Future
Univerce Of Malice

Those are not written by me, they are written by the truly talented fanfic  writers who inspired me to write fanfics in the first place.
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Re: How To Write A Simpsons Script

Post by TheLeader » Wed May 04, 2005 2:16 pm

I'm not saying you can't put jokes in prose, I'm just saying they tend to get stepped on by the style. Prose slows down the read, especially when you have to read "said Homer" or "quipped Lisa" after every line of dialogue. Comedy is timing, and prose can hamper that.

Also, my list doesn't necessarily reflect my personal taste. It's just guidelines for anyone who wants to write in the style of the show. Feel free to ignore it. All I'm saying is, if you look at scripts for different shows, you'll notice that the format caters to each show's particular way of storytelling and sense of humor. I wouldn't try to write a Family Guy (sorry, I know you hate that show) in the Simpsons format, because it's much easier and cleaner to do the constant cutaways and flashbacks in the Family Guy style. Otherwise, the quickness of that show would be hampered by excessive sluglines and description.

If you want to see an example of Simpsons format, get a script at ScriptCity.com, or read my fan script on this site. (One shameless plug deserves another, right?)

I hope, after all this time, I've finally made myself clear.
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Re: How To Write A Simpsons Script

Post by SirMustapha » Wed May 04, 2005 5:14 pm

I get your point, there. I think many writers agree that it's much harder writing good comedy than writing good drama, for a number of reasons. Also, to your list of Futurama fics, EvilCupCake, I must add Christina Nordlander's "The Search For Zapp". While it isn't strictly a comedy fic, it has several excellent humourous spots, all written in impeccable prose.
"Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles"

-- Bob Dylan, "Visions of Johanna"
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