Adventures Thinking About The Screen Trade

If you’re coming here from the delicious clues I left at my Do Some Damage Post yesterday, welcome. I suspect this will end up being a two part post and I know you’re not supposed to start with backstory or any such nonsense, but this is a blog not a novel and I have to write what I’m thinking about.

The first script I ever wrote was a one-act play my senior year of high school. I was very involved in theater, obsessed with New York City, and determined to make my way in the art world. That play had some nice success in high school and led to my choir teacher, and greatest artistic supporter, buying me a book on screenwriting for graduation. Until then it wasn’t something I’d ever thought about. And I didn’t much then either. This was back in the 90s when a lot of the playwrights in NYC were getting deals writing movies and I figured that’s how I’d do it. Learn to write plays, and maybe read up here and there on screenwriting, and all would be grand. I even went as far one year to write a full spec script for FRIENDS, which I entered in the Disney Writer’s Fellowship Program, and half of a FRASIER spec script. I also attempted the opening few pages of a couple action screenplays. But I never really put much effort into it because I figured you had to move to LA to become a screenwriter. I wanted to move to New York City.

Fast Forward to today when I’ve written several novels, a bunch of short stories, and a full length play. I still haven’t finished a screenplay and it’s soething I want to do. In fact, that’s going to be the next project I work on when I’m done with the revisions on my current book. I want to enter what Victor Gischler calls Screenplay State University. I want to take everything I’ve learned over the last ten years writing novels, short stories, and plays too see if I can apply it to screenwriting. And the reaosn this is linked to my Do Some Damage post is because I want to write a comedy screenplay. An action romantic comedy screenplay.

Tune back in tomorrow to find out why I think now is the best time for me to pursue this and why I think the write-for-hire aspect of screenwriting is it’s most appealing trait.

5 thoughts on “Adventures Thinking About The Screen Trade

  1. Chuck,

    I’m realizing that now. I think I’m at a point now that I know enough people connected to the industry who are also in the crime field that if I have a good script there are people I can get it to. Now it’s time to learn and practice to get that good script.

  2. If you ever need a reader, give a shout. Not that I’m some bad-ass, but I’ve been put through the ringer (appropriately so) on scripts enough time I have pre-ordained wisdom to share. 🙂

    — c.

  3. Personally, I have no desire to write a screenplay. Getting it filmed is like making sausage. I don’t want to know what’s in it. Just sell me the sausage.

    That said, I’ve thought of writing a screenplay as a precursor to writing a novel just to get a feel for the structure and make a novel more screen-friendly. I’ve said it before, the worst thing that could happen is someone would buy the script, which presents all sorts of problems best suited for other people’s neuroses to deal with.

  4. Evilj —

    That’s actually how I got into screenwriting. I wanted to get through a novel I couldn’t quite get my hands around, and so I mentored with a screenwriter to get a handle on story and structure and what-not.

    It’s a gateway drug.

    — c.

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