Cybele’s Guide to the Site

THE SITE AS A WHOLE
Script Frenzy is here to help you write a script, just about any kind of script. We've created various interactive and static components to help you do this. On the site you can create a personalized profile for yourself and your project, interact with other writers in the forums or use the FrenzyMail system, buy a cap and track your progress towards your goal.

You can use as much or as little of this as you wish. If you're new to online communities, you might want to read through the little guide below.

READING THE FORUMS

The forums, also known as message boards, are one of the highlights of the Script Frenzy experience, allowing you to connect with other writers just like yourself from all over the world. Though they may look daunting at first, learning to use them is actually a snap.

The best way to think of the forums is as a large house party. Thousands of different people are hanging out in various parts of the house, engaged in conversations about everything from their favorite books to what they had for breakfast that morning. As with most parties, you'll have to do a little searching before you find a conversation you're interested in joining.

Unlike chat rooms, where the back-and-forth happens in a matter of seconds, conversations in the forums unfold at a much more leisurely pace. A conversation between several people (also called a "topic" or "thread") might take a day or more to fill up with messages and replies (both are known as "posts"). Also, unlike real parties, where you might feel uncomfortable butting into strangers' conversations, the discussions in the forums are fundamentally open to anyone who might want to contribute. Private conversations happen off-line or via FrenzyMail (more on FrenzyMail later), so don't be afraid to add your comments to a discussion.

The Script Frenzy forums are divided into subject areas such as Tips & Strategies, Life During Script Frenzy, Resources & Support, etc. Each of these areas contains several lounges or forums where the conversations actually take place. By dividing them up, you’re able to browse topics in just the areas you’re looking for. A Genre Forum will likely contain conversations about writing in that particular genre, such as Romantic Comedy.

Click on any forum title and you’ll be taken to that forum. Inside the forum, you'll find pages and pages of topics. Each topic represents an ongoing, threaded conversation; they're listed in chronological order, with the topics which have received the most recent replies at the top.

Clicking on the subject line of a topic will take you into that topic. At this point, you'll see the topic's most recent posts at the top of your screen, with the earlier posts in reverse chronological order below it. This means you may have to scroll a lot, or click through to several pages of posts, to see the message that began the topic.

If you’ve never posted in a forum before, read around a bit before posting. A good place for a first post is the Newbies forum where you can introduce yourself or ask for help in finding your way around. When you’re ready to post, you have two options. You can start your own subject or your can respond to an existing topic.

RESPONDING TO AN EXISTING TOPIC

When you read a post, you are able to respond to either the original poster by hitting the "Add Comment" button found at the bottom of the initial post or any subsequent post.

The reply feature will bring up a screen where you’ll have a space to enter your reply. You can add a subject line at the top if you wish, or just leave it blank as a default.

Your text will be formatted simply as it appears within the input window. Most people use the default normal text as it’s easy to read and of course quicker to type. You're free to use basic text formatting HTML such as bold, italics, etc.

You can preview your message to check for spelling errors or typos as well as check how it will appear to other users.

STARTING YOUR OWN TOPIC

To post, simply find the appropriate forum and click the "New Topic" button on the top of the forum.

One of the most important parts is the Subject line. A vague or commonly used subject line frustrates readers, and makes it less likely that you'll get replies to the post. If you’re asking a question, give your readers a clue as to what you’re asking about. There will be hundreds of posts surrounding yours, so try to make yours stand out.

Less effective subject line: Help! Quick Question

More effective subject line: How Many Teeth Does a Domesticated Cat Have?

Less effective: OMIGOD!!!1!

More effective: I’m ahead on my word goal!

Once you’ve filled in your text, hit submit and your message will appear in the forums. Now all you have to do is wait for the replies to roll in for the conversational ball to start rolling.

HOW TO EDIT YOUR POST

You know how it goes, the moment your post goes up on the forums, you notice a typo. Fear not, you can edit it. Simply click the edit button at the bottom of your post and make the changes and submit it again. You can edit your post for up to an hour after you’ve posted or until it gets a response. If you need to make any corrections or clarifications after that, you’ll have to post a response with that information. You cannot delete posts. Contact a moderator if you want to remove something from the forums.

CONTENT OF YOUR POSTS

You can discuss anything you wish, we only ask that you post in the appropriate forum. Posts that are off-topic for the forum may be moved by moderators to a more appropriate area.

There are two different kinds of forums on the site. Some are noted as All Ages, so content there should be on topic and not contain any strong language or sexual themes. All other forums not marked as all ages have fewer restrictions: though you may use strong language we do not allow material that is abusive, pornographic, hateful, or threatening.

Some forums have a notice that shows as the first post (sticky) – inside there you may find helpful info that will explains the rules of that forum a bit more or contain a guide to how to navigate what may be a very large and active forum.

If you have questions about what may or may not be appropriate, just ask one of your helpful moderators. The moderator of a forum is listed on the main forum page or at the top of the page of that forum list. Just click on their name and send them a private message via FrenzyMail. This is a free, miniature email system Script Frenzy participants can use to communicate with one another. More on FrenzyMail below.

The forums are viewable by anyone, whether they are logged in or not, so please do not post any personal information you would not want viewable by anyone who takes the time to browse the boards. The forums are also indexed by most of the search engines, so using real names on the site may make this information freely available to anyone who has internet access. Please think carefully before posting personal details in your posts. The FrenzyMail system is much more suitable for exchanging information for personal meet ups.

Should you encounter another user or post that you think violates these rules or the spirit of Script Frenzy, please report the post to the moderators by either using the Report button or by sending a FrenzyMail to the moderator of that forum detailing the post and the user. You can also use this to request that a thread be moved or any other maintenance work.

FRENZYMAIL

We have a messaging system for your use within the site. It's kept under the tab called "My ScriptFrenzy" and clicking on the option on the left navigation area. This will allow you to send notes to other Frenzies without an email address (some people prefer not to share their email address on such a large public site and you are free to keep yours private as well). To send a message to any user you can use the FrenzyMail page to enter their name or you can either click on their profile. It works pretty much like the forums and other email systems.

If you get a message, you'll be alerted when you're on the site (and you can opt for an email alert as well). Click through the notification or go to MyScriptFrenzy -> FrenzyMail. Once you’ve read the message you can reply to it by hitting the reply button. You can also delete it or file it away in a folder (or just leave it there). All messages are saved by default.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Since the site is so huge, there are several ways to get back to your favorite places and monitor your favorite forums.

In MyScriptFrenzy you'll see an option called Subscriptions. The tabs at the top of that module give you the ability to manage them. The first is Threads. To add a thread to your subscriptions, simply click the option at the bottom of the first post of any thread you want to watch.

You can watch whole Categories as well using the next tab. All the content for the site is listed here, not just forums but also our Cameo and Beat blogs. Just click the radio button to subscribe or unsubscribe.

RSS Feeds also exist for all of these, so you can view your updates on the go or in your favorite aggregator.

SETTING YOUR PREFERENCES IN YOUR PROFILE

Every user on the forums has a Profile Page. Here you can show as much or as little about yourself and your scrip as you want.

Your profile is broken into three pieces:

Account Settings - this is where you set your time zone and add your picture, change your email address, etc.

Writer Info - about you and your interests.

Script Info - about your project this year. You can add an image for your script and even a link to a video if you like.

Additional information is generated by the system for the profile page, such as a list of your posts.

You're not obligated to give any information about yourself when participating in the challange. If you plan on participating in the forums or regional get-togethers, it's nice to share a bit. Including a little bit about your geographic location can help other writers find you. As an international forum, even vague information like a State, Territory or Country can help other users to put your post in perspective - especially when you're asking a question.

Once you hit "Submit" you’ll see how your profile looks to other users.

THE FORUM BREAKDOWN

Scriptwriting 101 - Get all the info you need before and during Script Frenzy regarding the nuts and bolts of how to get this thing done.

Tips and Strategies – offers help with the nitty-gritty bits of your script, with folks chiming in with ideas, research, tips, strategies and otherwise helpful things.

Life During Script Frenzy – forums to help you make the most of your time in front of the keyboard. Or make the least of it. Your choice. You can whine here, complain, groan, celebrate, cheer and generally share with other participants about the nuts and bolts of the task at hand.

Genre Lounges – If you’re looking for companionship with other writers working in your style, this is the place.

Groups – if you’re belong to a class or another group that’s descending on Script Frenzy en masse, this is the place to find a topic where you can all hook up.

Rules/Feedback/Help – pretty much explains itself

Off Topic – anything else that doesn’t fit in the other forums regarding your Script Frenzy experience.

Regional Forums – The beauty of Script Frenzy is that the forums allow you to connect with people all over the world who are taking on the challenge of writing a script in a month. But you’ll also find that there are people right in your area writing too and your Municipal Liaison (ML) is hard at work setting up parties, writing sessions and helping the locals find their way through the month. Sign up for your regional forum(s) and that will be the only one you see on your forum page and you’ll even get Private Messages from your Municipal Liaison about get-togethers in your area occurring throughout the month.

REGIONAL AFFILIATION

As described above, Script Frenzy has Regional Forums, which are hosted by Municipal Liaisons, endlessly enthusiastic volunteers that host the local forum and organize get-togethers in your area. You can subscribe by going to the bottom of the main forum page to where it says "To Join a Region Click Here" or select the option from "My Script Frenzy" at the top of the page. Just find your location from the drop down list. You may join more than one region so that it will show up on your forum page automatically every time you log in. You are free to join as many regions as you want (some people engage in challenges between cities or keep an eye on their hometown or perhaps want to overlap in adjoining areas). You can denote one as you "home" region, which means that your word count will be applied to the tally for that group.

Once you’ve signed up for your Regional Forum, if it has a Municipal Liaison, you will probably get several emails or FrenzyMail messages throughout the season. Most cities have a Kick-Off party in late March or early April and a TGIO Party in early June. You are under no obligation to sign up for a Regional Forum but many frenzies have found that meeting people in their own area, even if it’s only on the forums is a great help. Feel free to share information on the Regional Forum about places to gather publicly such as libraries, coffee houses that don’t mind laptoppers, bookstores that can accommodate writers and other tips and tricks specific to your area.

GLOSSARY

This primer is by no means complete, but you might want to refer to it if words get bandied about within the posts. Of course, you should never be shy about just asking within a topic what something means.

Admin or Administrator – someone who works on the website.

AFAIK – short for As Far As I Know sometimes AFAICR – As Far As I Can Recall

AOL Speak – a form of abbreviated communication where letters are substituted for words such as U for you and R for are. This developed as a shorthand for communicating quickly in chat programs (IM or Instant Message) or using text messaging on phones. Sometimes it creeps into forum postings and can make it difficult to understand (alphabet soup). Sometimes sounding it out or reading it aloud can help, kind of like deciphering vanity license plates.

B0rk or B0rked – broken or not working properly. Sometimes this happens to the Script Frenzy site.

Bump – when a person adds a reply merely to get it to go back to the top of the forum listing.

Chat – the use of a program for real-time exchange of text conversations. There are quite a few chats that go on during the Script Frenzy period through several different programs. Some users post their chat usernames in their Signature Line

Emoticon – a smiley icon, or any icon that conveys emotion. These are generally used to help people understand the tone of a post. You may notice that they show up as little graphics sometimes and other times people will use the type character versions, such as :) or ;). There are dozens of versions. Here’s a good place to find out what they all mean.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions – usually a place on every website contains a page that strives to answer the most common questions and concerns.

Flame – when a poster takes another to task on a subject, chews them out, generally abuses them. A flame can be a personal attack, but often is a well-reasoned analysis but employs heightened rhetoric. Flamers often take great joy in getting responses from people with their posts, so responding to a flame is not usually advisable. If you believe that someone is posting abusively, please report their post(s) to the moderator.

Flamebait – a post that is designed to generate a flame. This is a special kind of trolling (for more on trolls, see below) where a user is not only trying to get a rise out of people, but is also trying to enlist others in their battles. Emotions run high, rhetoric and hyperbole abound. Posting in such a topic is not something to be taken lightly. Tread carefully.

Flamewar – when there is equal give and take on both sides or multiple people join in.

Forum – a forum is an area on the site where the topics are divided into areas of interest. In general the site is divided into different forums to help you find the conversations you’re looking for.

Godwin’s Law – "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1" – this has grown to include that when a discussion grows more contentious, the invocation of Nazis comes that much faster. Some declare that any given topic is over when Hitler is invoked, however the awareness of the law itself can often muddy this.

IIRC – short for If I Recall Correctly

IM Lingo – similar to AOL Speak, IM lingo is a shorthand that developed to save keystrokes while chatting in any Instant Message program or phone text message program. Words are shortened and acronyms are used for common phrases.

IMHO – short for In My Humble Opinion, also IMO – In My Opinion.

Leetspeak (also 1337) – short for Elite Speak – an odd way of expressing in English using alternate characters or character strings as a substitution for the accepted ones. In some senses it’s a cipher, sometimes used to hide keywords from filters. See: Wikipedia – Leetspeak

LOL – short for Laugh Out Loud, see also the more hilarious ROFL

Lurker – someone who reads but doesn’t post.

Moderator or Mod – a host for a forum, they are there to help as well as broker any disputes. On the Script Frenzy forums you’ll see their name at the top of the forum and on the forum list next to the title of the forum lounge.

NaNoWriMo – short for National Novel Writing Month, Script Frenzy's sister event in November where participants write a 50,000-word novel.

Newbie - someone new, also called a n00b.

NSFW – Not Safe For Work – a caution many people will put on links to text or images if they are something you might not want to be caught viewing or might prefer not to view if you’re sensitive to such content.

OMG – short for Oh My God, sometimes expressed as OMIGOD.

Post – a post is any single item placed in the forums by a person. A post can be one that initiates a topic or in response to someone else’s post (a reply). Posts are initiated by going to the forum where the topic belongs and clicking on "New Topic" or responding to someone else’s by hitting "Reply."

Pr0n – an alternate spelling of the word Porn. Used most often ironically, though it started as a way for legitimate conversations about the topic to take place on forums without worrying about search engines or content filters mistaking their conversations for something else.

ROFL – abbreviation for Rolling on the Floor Laughing

Sig or Sig Line – short for Signature Line. The site allows all posters to have a signature automatically added to all their posts. Many users choose to show information about their script, links to their personal websites and sometimes a little graphic of the script project. You can add your sig in your profile page. You can change your sig at any time and it will automatically update all of your posts on the site.

Smiley – see emoticon above.

Spoiler Alert – a caution someone will put on a post, most often dealing with the content of a book, TV show or movie. A spoiler alert is often followed by a large amount of blank space so that a person who does not want the work spoiled for them can click away safely.

Tag – a game played in a topic on the forums. The first post will usually outline the rules, whether it’s a word-association game or connecting movie titles.

Thread - a conversation on the forums is called a thread or topic. It’s started by one person’s post and others respond to either the first person’s post or to subsequent posts. A thread should stay on the original poster’s topic, though they don’t always. If there’s an interesting conversation within a thread that develops, often someone will break out that topic to its own post and thread so as not to distract from the original poster’s thoughts. The abbreviation OP is used to refer to the "original poster" or the person who started the topic.

Topic – any threaded conversation on the forums started by a post – see above.

Troll – a troll is a person whose sole goal on a forum is to get a rise out of others. Most of the time it's harmless fun and obvious when someone posts that kittens are evil or coffee isn't the perfect beverage. If a post annoys you immediately and you feel the need to post right that moment, walk away. If it’s important enough to demand a reply, it’ll be there tomorrow and cooler heads will prevail. Some people enjoy engaging trolls, but the general consensus is that it's a bad idea to feed them.

W00T – sometimes written as WooT!, it’s just an expression of exuberance. Seen often in the forums when wordcounts are high and goals are reached.

WiFi – wireless internet access, found at many coffee houses, libraries, bookstores and other public places.

XD – another emoticon though it’s not always obvious at first glance. It represents an open mouth, squinted-eye laugh. Equated with LOL (laugh out loud).