Writing for Millennials...



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  • Writing for Millennials...

    Hi! I'm a Millennial (well, technically Gen Y, but I consider myself a "digital native"), and lot of my writing is for a young female audience. I'm finding it tough to succinctly write about characters who, like me, spend a lot of time on their phones and social media.

    I've been thinking about tracking down the script for the Black Mirror (season 2, ep. 1), maybe some of the stuff from Issa Rae's Insecure and even the feature script for a movie called Nerve, just to see what other people are doing.

    Can you guys think of any other samples that might help me get a handle on things? Or perhaps some tips? Conventional screenwriting mechanics have never seemed more outdated to me than they do right now...


  • #2
    Re: Writing for Millennials...

    Jane the Virgin uses texting, Skype and and hashtags all the time, especially in the first two seasons.

    Also Scream the TV series did, too. Lots of it.


    • #3
      Re: Writing for Millennials...

      i'm a bit skeptical about writing from such standpoint
      it's just a background for eternal dramas, not the subject matter in itself
      what's the Great Movie about Television Era? the Telephone Era?
      which is the Great Novel of the Steam Machine?


      • #4
        Re: Writing for Millennials...

        It feels like more of a practicality than anything else, though. The reality is that people in my generation communicate a lot - even for important stuff - via text. For me, the instinct is to bold things that are meant to be read as texting on the screen, but for someone else, it might be italics. I'd love to see some industry standards emerge...maybe they will at some point.


        • #5
          Re: Writing for Millennials...

          I never have characters read books on screen... it's boring. I also don't have characters make phone calls unless absolutely necessary - always more dramatic and interesting to have them speak face to face.

          Yet, my generation reads books and makes phone calls.

          One of the problems with showing texts onscreen is: a USA film's audience is about 2/3rds outside the USA and often countries that do not speak English... heck, even in the USA there are plenty of people who can't read. So this is often a terrible way to communicate info to the audience.

          Drama wins over everything else.

          - Bill
          Free Script Tips:


          • #6
            Re: Writing for Millennials...

            I think the old classic way is:


            Text from LINDA: omg teh killer is in teh house with u!!!

            BACK TO SCENE

            Bobbi looks around frantically.

            ...Quick search, article from Dave Trottier, AKA Dr. Format, Texting in the Movies

            3-page writing challenge coming up in January.


            • #7
              Re: Writing for Millennials...

              If none of you are watching Jane the Virgin, I do recommend checking it out for lots of reasons.

              Either way, what they tend to do is Jane and her mom text and the text comes up HUGE on the screen and is featured -- not a phone insert, just a colored band with the words.

              Her father is an actor and often tweets, so the show itself (which has a narrator who talks to the audience as if we're all on the couch together so they're already messing with the walls) will make funny hashtags that he writes or that the SHOW writes. They just appear in the right hand corner of the screen as kind of an act-out punchline sometimes. Here's a comment/hashtag that was just straight-up written for the audience. Here's a text.

              And *it's not annoying*. I'm first in line to say that a lot of times movies that depend on this stuff feel false and unrealistic and maybe don't handle it well. I really wanted to see Unfriended but I kind of lost momentum after the first few scenes.

              But Jane the Virgin incorporates it well because it literally fits the story. It's also a TV show, so they have a tone and a Bible and have established how to do it.

              Scream did it also (doesn't someone here write for Scream?) and of course they had to do it because that's how the killer operates.

              Anyway. It's just so nice to talk about something other than the election that I'm going overboard. Anyone wanna do a 2 brad or 3 brad discussion?


              • #8
                Re: Writing for Millennials...

                Thank you so much for that link to some formatting rules! That is exactly what I was in need of.