April 9, 2018 at 3:56AM


Big Ambitions-- Screenwriting App Prototype and Small Company Formation

Tell me what you think!


I'm a subscriber to No Film School since 4/10/2014. I've been a lurker but not a contributor.

I'm a first-time Creator on Patreon. I am making tools to help certain types of writers. My tool is called "CharDiAMa". I'm also someone who's visited South Korea 4 times.

For my 5th time and for a MUCH longer stay, I intend to tie in my naval ship design activities, my screenwriting tools, and a few other things with telling naval fiction from Korean perspectives. I'll be using and adapting some 20 years worth of accumulated news articles, internal mind-mapping, numerous dramas, and so on.

Ultimately, I want to create tools and generate income so I can start a small company and self-produce content that can be officially deemed as "Korean" and marketable to enough of the world to keep the activity self-sustaining. Some content will be animations, some comics/manhwa, and some live action. Geopolitics, fun, family, love, loss, and more will be running themes.

So, I already have a definite minimum starting point of raising KRW 100,000,000 (around US $100,000). Instead of creating a short-term film company, I want to create there a local business, meaning I will have to hire around 5 Koreans or work-authorized people, not counting myself.

(Having visited Korea and having more than 10 friends there, I know how to live inexpensively. Being on a proper visa means I can (and must, by law) sign for business office rental space and sign various legal documents. This means I'll be authorized to rent an apartment. Surprisingly, apartments twice as big as my tiny studio cost under US $600 per month if around 20 miles outside of Seoul.)

Now, for my screenwriting tool which is an outgrowth and integrated to my naval ship designs... CharDiaMa/CharDiAMa

CharDiAMa is a new tool to plan, collaborate on, and take a story manuscript to a nearly completed script. CharDiAMa stands for Character DIalogue and Action Manager. It also stands for Character DIalogue Manager.

It is a spreadsheet-based (also has a prototype cousin and predecessor in a database application construct) manuscript writing method that is familiar to anyone using spreadsheets but used by few in this way.

CharDiAMa aims to allow per-cell granular access, looking, tracking, and more. And, as people expect creators to "eat their own dog food", I will within a few weeks be using CharDiaMa to craft my first few manuscripts. I'll try to be ambitious and write 2 movie-length manuscripts and one manhwa (Korean-oriented animation/comics) by using my tools I hope will reduce writer's block in myself and in others. To keep on track, I'll also publish some or all of my activities as reward levels items.

Currently, it is a highly functional prototype being advanced in old and new spreadsheet products so there are as few people as possible left behind once they decide to tackle a short story, novel, movie or drama serial manuscript, or a manhwa, comic, animation, anima, webzine, or product advert.

Unlike other screenwriting applications that undergo head bashing and handwringing spasms over how to deal with something as mundane as dual dialogue or simultaneous speech, in CharDiAMa, this is simple a flagged, highlighted pairing or two or more rows. No need to grapple with code trying to split a screen at a table reading. Professional and attentive script readers or testers or the acting talent themselves need only follow along by looking at their cues. When their turn comes, two or more people just read simultaneously. How hard can that be?

Before even writing, most would-be authors suffer writer's block. CharDiAMa aims to bury writer's block in several ways. The most important two three ways involve providing the writer or writing team with:

-- comprehensive yet summarized character viewport

-- dashboard statistics

-- conditional formatting and cell-fed breadcrumbs on where to flesh out the plotting, dialogue, sets distribution, and pacing

In addition to that, even as powerful if not more powerful psychologically, is a Timed Writing module.

The lone reader takes into account the the following:

-- own typing rate/speed transcribing

-- own typing rate/speed free writing (but while thinking)

-- project or contest timeline

-- blackout days in the writing timeline

CharDiAMa's Timed Writing aid shows the writer the number of words needing to be written on each scheduled writing day. If the writer happens to write by a biorhythm calendar or wing it as a pantser or as a planner, specific words goals on any active days can be typed in to override the calculated days. The daily word averaging is displayed.

Once the writer misses day or two or more, without a timeline extension being offered, the writer may panic and overcompensate, causing more stress to pile up and interfere with just writing something. The writer can flag planned writing days as missed days. CharDiAMa then shows a "reaveraged' number of days of writing goals so the writer is not swamped with overly heavy makeup sessions.

A bevy of charts and mini reports will help out the plotters and data-driven writer or writing team. This can be especially useful (and, admittedly, overwhelming), to minimizing:

-- plot holes

-- anachronisms

-- plot or scene inconsistencies

-- continuity errors

-- maldistribution of lines of dialogue

and more.

Depending on the writer's choice of spreadsheet, some features simply are unavailable unless replaced through scripting language, macros, or creative use of megaformulas the userbase of that particular spreadsheet brings more to the table.

I, David Syes, the creator of CharDiAMa, hope to in three months provide interesting and useful and timesaving spreadsheet-based sitting tools to anyone needing to manage episodics, comics, or epic movie plot lines and needing simple, highly customizable tools.

CharDiAMa has no:

-- passwords

-- timeouts

-- lockouts

-- crippled features

-- call-home facilities

-- activation codes

-- built-in limits on dialogue, characters, sets/scenes, timelines, or other elements or aspects of just writing your story

Visit and pledge support if you or someone you know can benefit from using CharDiAMa.

A future version will offer more protection to the writer who likes most of CharDiAMa but who wants calculated columns to be locked down. Certain spreadsheets make this a snap. Some don't. But, I want the writer to have maximum flexibility.

A future version will also make more splitting of the worksheets possible so the three or four unsynchronized ranges can be displayed, reducing endless sheet scrolling and reducing resorting to multiple displays.

All of CharDiAMa runs without scripts or macros. This means that 90%-98% of the formulas I created or learned from other sources can be used by you in any spreadsheet application you prefer.

See you at:


Closing Thought:

It's time to usher in a new era and new paradigm in story writing and collaboration that doesn't obtusely and obsequoiusly to mimic the typewriter and paper mentality early in the writing process. Story length will be what the story, not protective traditionalists, say it will be. If it is inherently long, then perhaps it is a sign the writer has created a property worth of serial franchise treatment.


Please ignore my up/down click from 3 to 4. I thought that that was the number of replies and a jump to comments. I didn't mean to up-rate my own posting.

April 9, 2018 at 2:21PM

David Syes
Recasting Self and Future

Hi All. I made a number of updates to my original CharDiaMa files. Also, They're not behind a donor/backer paywall -- for now. SO, if you haven't periodically visited my Patreon page or the Dropbox links, you probably don't know. Please visit either the Patreon link above in the April 9 post (near the bottom), OR, visit these dropbox links:

A these links, you can obtain my .123, .xls, .ods, .pmdx, and .et files. They all originate from Lotus 1-2-3, and so the exports to .xls have no macros or scripts. The .ods, pmdx, and .et are saves to those formats.

In most cases, you'll probably notice that the .123 files run MUCH faster than the other spreadsheet applications. It may be for technical reasons, or just due to lots of charts being in the newer apps that don't like so many charts and images. You can delete them after examining their functionality, and then reproduce them manually so your app uses colors and features explicitly created, not imported, by it. I hope you find it inspires you to find ideas of how to manage your stories better than in most other tools you've used. Perhaps you can bang on your developer to give you some of those features.

CharDiaMa Tools folder:


CharDiaMa Public folder:


At the last two links, you can see images of my earlier forays into creating a screenwriting application in a database application.

nav-fict-eeoc-my-stuff folder:


nav-fic-health-n-fitness-my-stuff folder:



June 27, 2018 at 7:36AM

David Syes
Recasting Self and Future

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