Monday, February 04, 2008

what runs in the family

The following is a conversation I had with my 10 year old brother:

Brat: Are you still writing scripts?

Me: Yeah.

Brat: What's it about?

Me: Well, it's about... it's a romantic comedy...

Brat: What's that?

Me: Er... that means it.... has jokes...and is fun...and people fall in love.

Brat: Oh, like Scream 4.

Me: ....No, that's generally considered horror.

Brat: But they usually start with jokes, and then there is horror, and then end with people falling in love. So it should be romantic-comedy-horror.

Me: ....Huh.

Brat: Oh I know! You can have one person sneak up to another person, and then shoot him!

The Writing Week part 5

Well, all in all, I suppose it was a productive week. Scratch that, it was a productive week (despite the fact that I missed a night on Sunday).

The League met again on Saturday, and once again, I submitted pages from the script I’m currently working on. Originally, I gave them about 12 or so to read. This weekend, I had 31 for them. All in all, the notes weren’t anything that required I put my forward progress on halt. Sometimes, unfortunately, the notes will illuminate the fact that the script is rife with problems, that it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, or that the all important tone is completely off (if not absent entirely).

This week, however, I did not face that —thank you, screenwriting deities. Rather, my notes were still mostly questions about the world the character is living in (though Backer did have a few things he took issue with other than that). By the time we met, I had pushed on to page 59 and hit the midpoint. Interestingly, many of the questions were regarding things that I tried to answer in that second chunk of pages. But what does that mean? Should I have answered those questions earlier, or were my compatriots just excited about the idea and the gears were turning in their heads? I think it’s a combination of both, or at least, I hope it is.

Like D.O.A. concluded in her most recent post, there’s no single correct answer. Some people were urging me to take more time with the world, while others wanted me to speed everything up and show the viewers less. Notes like that (ones that don’t require immediate attention to character or vital structure) are pleasant to receive, because they get me thinking about a lot, while not forcing me to start at page one again.

The last thing this week did, and, perhaps, one of the most important things, is that it got me thinking about competitions again. Well, to be fair, Onyx is the one who has really be steering that ship. Nonetheless, I found a contest (scriptapalooza) that has a mid-March deadline, and a mid-April final deadline. I am fairly confident that if I wanted, I could have a presentable draft by the late deadline (the early one might be pushing it). That’s not to say that I am going to pay $50 to send something in that is not finished. I don’t recommend that to anyone. However, the thought of it might help compel me to finish this quickly (yet effectively) and look for other competitions to enter it into. Another reason to attack the keyboard each night is always welcome.

101 Best Screenplays

I was searching the WGA site this morning, since Captain Undead mentioned news of a potential strike resolution.

In my search, I cam upon this,, the WGA's list of the 101 best screenplays.

Whether you're a screenwriting student, a recreational writer, or an expert, it always helps to read as many screenplays as possible. And, while this might not be your top 101, there is something to be said for each one chosen here. I, admittedly, have not read nearly as many of these as I should have.

So take a look, read up, study, and enjoy them!