How can we jump start this forum?


well, what it says.

Thank you.


Lets have a short story-off… like the Hardcore Modeling Challenge… 10 pages (no more), one month for a short story.

First though, it might be helpful for beginners to have a sticky thread covering the basics of story and character arc structures.

Short films are generally much harder to write because every word counts. I recently wrote one with a 10 page maximum limit (actually 9, because the last minute roughly is held for credits). It’s tough to have a well rounded character in that amount of time, and tough to hit the traditional story marks of inciting incident, plot points, midpoint, climax, denouement, etc… Sometimes in short form, you don’t have to hit all of those beats, but it’s potentially a really good training ground for longer scripts if you can pull it off.

SO, perhaps like the HMC, the moderator would post a genre, and all of the scripts have to be within that genre, 10 pages or less, and have at least one character and one clear objective.

My only concern with this is that it would need to be known that your story could get swiped if it’s posted online. You could register ($20USD) with the Writer’s Guild of America West at and post the finished script online with the registration number… or with the Library of Congress (though I’ve never done that before)

Or perhaps CGTalk could set up their own registry… that might be an advantage for them anyways. It would have to be a simple submission process, and the digital files would have to be archived forever, but it could be a great service for the members of CGTalk who love to write. Free for Society members, $5 for everyone else?

Since writing covers all genre’s and live action as well as animation, I would suggest that it not be limited to animated shorts, although I imagine that plenty of them would fall into that category. I think it’s more beneficial to just write the story, then pick the best medium to convey the message. Obviously ‘Oktapodi’ couldn’t be done live action, but something like ‘Geri’s Game’ could be (using twins)…

Story will always be king.

Just a thought.


Maybe it needs more visual threads.
People post samples of their storyboards or script formats.

Or even links to professional examples. Could be useful.


I don’t think so. Writer’s write, and that’s what they should be doing.
Having tons of visuals takes the focus off writing and puts it further
along the development process.

This thread should be for learning the craft of writing, how to show
visuals through text.


But the forum is called Scripting, storyboarding and concept creation.


True. My bad.


I like old Sci-Fi Mags from the 30’s and 40’s. It helps me think when I read them. Some of the stories that used to show up in the old Startling Tales and other magazines used to be written just by looking at the picture. Basically, when the writers were in a slump an artist would develop a picture and then writers would develop a story from that. The writer who wrote the best story to it is the one that got published and was paid. Ahh, the Depression years…

Just an idea: Forum Moderator submits a picture. One that can stimulate the mind. Basically an Action shot. Example: A man is strapped to a table in a laboratory. He is surrounded by two alien creatures that are about to operate on him. The two alien creatures have their back to him. Another human figure is their about to untie him. In the background is a window looking outside to an underground city. The End.

Submission: Members write a treatment and develop storyboards for the picture. Forum Moderator decides if the picture happens in the beginning middle or end. Personally I would like to have at least two choices. Not just one.

Rules: Can not be longer than 20 Panels. Black and White or Color. Can show concepts or must show concepts. Have 30 days to complete.

Well, those are my ideas. I hope it helps. Good luck.



I like the short story write-off idea, but instead of 10 pages, let’s do it with only one.

One A4 sheet; a full story, anything goes (within forum guidelines). This would enable a rapid turn-over, the stories will be short enough to post and a one page story will definitely stretch your writing chops! Include or don’t include art, it would be up to you, but the art would strictly be for illustration and not taken into account when selecting the best story.
We could even make it so everyone starts from the same idea, be it first sentence, a headline or an image, or…

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and maybe we could get some sponsorship, though I am sure it would be at a much less extravagant level than in the graphic forums.

Sound off, what do you think? I have lots of ideas… :slight_smile:


I like the picture inspiring a story idea. I have a scenario for that image already. :slight_smile:
The only trouble with it might be if enough people partake, then you may get overlapping concepts(similar endings etc), assuming it matters. If its an idea for a picture, as opposed to an actual picture with designs spelled out, then some people may focus on the story, while others may focus on the concept design. Maybe that would help keep variety.
I dont know.



Everybody has great ideas, and I am up for anything. So, when does the moderator make the final decision?



Hey everyone!

I know maybe it’s not the best idea,but why not to start carry out smth. like little storyboadring challenges,not even challenges maybe but kinda “look what i can” :).Let’s say there is basic plot.For instance:a man is peering out of a train’s compartment window and suddenly…So an artist will have to develop this prelude into a short story,illustrating it with a storyboard.Yeah,something like this.What do you guys think about it?


Hej… nice discussion here!

I tried a few times already to get more creative stuff going here…

I had my story writing course, which was rather successful, but basicly died (I really want to do more with it, but I need some motivation and time) for those interested to give me feedback and, or motivation or direction, it is still available here:

And I also tried to do a minichallenge type of thing with screenwriting, named the Micro Screen Writing Challenge (MSWC).
It was shaped after the mini game art competitions I really enjoyed, but are not active anymore since evey gameartist has changed to (daughter site, since a year or so, not actually sure on the name)
But basically there were three of us and all of us ran out of time on the last one (3rd) so that idea died too…
Those are also still available:

So there is really nothing stopping someone to start something, just time and people willing to keep it all alive :). I am willing to start or moderate a new initiative since CG and storytelling are two of my favourite things :slight_smile:

The biggest problem I see is just the amount of time it takes to do a story, in writing it is time consuming… in drawings even more so.

But if you talk 1a4 page of story, like a comicbook layout, 9-12 panels, that should be doable in a weekend… even with some colour. Sounds like fun!


Hey matsman!

Well,yeah you’re right-it takes time.On the other hand everyting takes time if you want to make smth. good:).Maybe the problem is that screenwriting and storyboard’s creation (esp. writing) do not have such a huge community like let’s say CG has itself.(just my assumption:)).Eventually most people (i suggest) will spend half a minute watching pretty renderings in galleries rather then reading scripts,even short scripts.We all like spetecular sights and images,that’s just the way it works (my poing of view:)).


Let me first say sorry if I sound a little negative. That is not what I intend to do. I don’t want to bring down anyone who is interested in giving this part of the forum a little more life. And seeing at least 6 people having participated in this thread I think there is a start.

I think Creepfree is right though in saying that the storytelling community here on cgtalk isn’t that big… since they all have their own specialised fora… just like what happened to the game artists :slight_smile:

But that said nothing is stopping anyone to change that. If you have a few active members, others will soon follow… and if you create a few fun activities that don’t take too much time all those lurkers [I know you are out there :stuck_out_tongue: lol] will possibly come out to play as well.

So I say lets put that storyboarding thing into motion, if there are enough participants.

and let me summarize the idea you guys came up with:

The moderator would start by posting 2 or 3 pictures that stimulate the mind. Possibly from the sketch thread for ultimate cgtalkness :stuck_out_tongue:

Then there are 30 days to create a story from your chosen picture. These can be text only or presented in storyboard form. (I think that making art mandatory gets more views, but less participants so lets keep that one open)

I think 10 pages is a good length for a month so lets go with that.

Which leaves judging… who will do the judging, or will there be a voting system like the HCM challenges?

Something I have heard before, and is a real fear for writers I get: My only concern with this is that it would need to be known that your story could get swiped if it’s posted online.
My previous and half solution was: If you attach a document to the post instead of typing/pasting directly into the window only members can download and look at the story, which makes the world a lot smaller already.
CGtalk members swiping you story I can do nothing about, but on the other hand, we are creative right, we can write something new again… and keep your most original ideas to yourself… if there is still something that can be considered original (I think so, but opinions differ :slight_smile: )


I’m always down with writing some short stories. This is what I think we should do. Some of these are ideas that people already suggested that I think would be good here:

Picture Story:Juniordebo’s idea, the mod picks a picture, and off that picture you have to develop a short story. In my opinion a short story is one to two pages. Anything goes but it has to tie into the picture somehow.

Time Span for Challenge: A week

Example: Its a picture of a dark gloomy barn. Many things could be going on. Maybe a bunch of gangsters are meeting up for an exchange, an serial killer is prepping his next subject, etc.

After School Special: Pixanaut’s idea, the mod gives how many characters and the situation the film. You have 10 pages to write a script, 10 pages because most is going to be dialogue.

Time Span for Challenge: A month

Example: Two characters standing in the rain waiting for the bus. A character in the kitchen waiting for someone/something, etc.

Go Lucky! Productions: A storyboarding challenge, between the top three stories of the After School Special or a mod choosing the subject. I rather go with picking one of the top three After School Special scripts since its already develop to where someone could come in to storyboard the script. But maybe people won’t like to do it that way or have different ideas.

Example: One of the top scripts were about a couple having a fight. You would have to storyboard the script and be judge on how well you capture the essence of the scene.

Time Span for Challenge: A month

Three is a Charm: You form a team of three people, one will write a short story, the next person will take that short story and form a script into it. The last person will form a storyboard of the script. Basically all three in one but with a team.

Example: Tony wrote a short story about a girl and her pony. Jimmy took the short story and form it into a script. Making sure to check with Tony about changes Jimmy had to make in order to make it great script. Kate takes the script and forms a storyboard making sure to check with both Tony and Jimmy to see if she is getting each scene correct.

Time Span for Challenge: A month

I think voting should be a community thing. Everyone should have a say on who should win. Since its not about winning but getting better at your art.

This is just what went through my mind as I read through the thread. Sorry for the bad examples, especially the one with the girl and her pony. But I think we are off to a good start to get something going here. Whatever is decided I’m down for the challenge.


Hey everyone!

As matsman said,5-6 participants in discussion-there is start.That’s right,and i think it’ll be right to plan theese mini-challenges for this ammount of people.(it’ll be great if more then one will take part in it:)).ThaNemesis presented some really cool ideas,i like "“picture story” the most.Maybe i’m wrong,but let’s start from something simple first,gradually increasing complexity of plots,stories etc.I mean it’s great when there is a vivid story with cool characters,sci-fi cars,spectacular kung-fu fights:) etc. but one thing is to write is and another is to implement it in storyboards (excuse me,i’m taking position of storyboard artist most).Even though storyboarding is said to be not about drawing i think it’s still crucial component,and so maybe this will terminate some people who would like to participate.I suggest to start from something quite straightforward and maybe even trivial,and see how people will react on it.If there is some kind of activity then it works,if not…well try it after all.Anyway,it’s great to see this part of the forum awakening (i hope it will soon):thumbsup:


Yea I agree, I think we should start with something small just to do a test run to see how everything will go. Take way we a lot of people do start to some and post here, we will already have a method that has been tested and works.

I agree Creep, I like Juniordebo’s idea also. If we were to start with Picture Story, I would increase the challenge time to at least 2 to 3 weeks. I wouldn’t make this challenge a month just because its a short story. I know there are some people out there who want to really get something across but I rather save that for another challenge. Plus I think its a good way to get new people interested.

So I say if everyone here agrees to do Picture Story first, let’s go ahead and get the full guidelines down and let’s get started writing :buttrock:


I agree…It is very hard to find original stories.

All these ideas are great, and I am willing to do anything. With that being said, I think we should try and set a goal for the 1st of the month. By the 1st of the month, come up with a plan on how we want to establish this mini challenge.

Any idea works for me.
1.Developing a story from a picture and the winner’s story is used for the storyboarding challenge.


  1. Develop storyboards from a treatment.


  1. Just develop a story from a picture, etc.

Judging: A-only participants that submitted work can judge and determine the winner; B-Everyone in the forum can judge for the winner; C-Only CGTalk members can judge the winners since most do not have multiple CGTalk accounts.

A forum moderator will need to oversee the rules.

Format: I prefer a PDF format or a Read-Only Format which is downloaded as an attachment.



Seems like all participants made up their minds.Now let’s see what moderator will do with that.Btw,regarding judging…are you sure that it’s needed?:)Let’s just do some art and see how many people will join.It’s just my opinion though,i look quite sceptical on judging in any forms of art…art is too private too personal sometimes to be adequately understood by the audience.Again,just my thoughts.:)Anyaway,looking forward to mod’s decision


I agree that we should start our first mini-challenge by the 1st of the month. Seems as if everyone likes the Picture Story one. I’m cool with how Junior explained judging. That seems fair. As far as format goes, I’m cool with PDF. What other guidelines are needed before we can start on the 1st?