Ramblings of a Virgin Screenwriter

Day #1

You’re swimming in your pool one hot summer night when it hits you. It hits you so hard that the only thing you can do is get out, go into the house, and turn on the computer that you had turned off to go swimming. THAT idea, the idea to out shine all other ideas. All those stories in your head want to come out but all at once. So you know that you have to write a book. You even know what the preface will say. You can see it layed out in these perfect little tales assembled together. One of your biggest obstacles is that you are an adult with ADD and can’t stay focused on one story for any length of time. Your mind wonders to the next story so you start that one too. The next thing you know you have four stories going with more knocking at the door. But as you sit there writing these stories you start to see them play out in your mind. They no longer are meek enough for a book, they have to be seen. They have to be felt in a 2 dimensional way. You know at that moment you have to make them into screenplays. . .


. . .but were to start? How do you go about doing this? Is there a formula? What about a structure? Should things be done just so or can you just throw everything onto the page and call it a screenplay?

These were just a few of the questions going through my mind as I sat in front of my computer staring at the screen. That was the moment when my OCD kicked in and I started to do research. Now I am not normal when it comes to research or paper work or anything that should be organized. I get very obsessive about it and have to find out everything I can. I can spend hours tracking down just one word to make sure I have the meaning right. If I know something has to be out there then I WILL FIND IT!!!

This is going to be a walk thru so to speak of how my screenwriting started and the obstacles I have to jump over.


The first thing I did was Google the word screenplay and came up with a boat load of info. I was now going to have to wade thru all of this to find out what was good and what was full of cow dung. I started bookmarking all the ones I thought might be good so I could go back and read them later. When I finally looked at list I had started I was shocked to see three rows of links all about screenwriting. How to’s, how not to’s, quick tips, long post, and even a few really good ones. The more I looked the more I wanted to get started on an actual script. The more I read the more I came to understand that I needed to learn everything I could about the industry. The more I learned the closer I looked at the world around me and saw a story line in everything. I knew I had to start at the beginning and fallow all the steps I could so that I could do it right.


I started looking through book stores (new and used) for any and every book I could find on screenplays. I found out that one of the best ways to learn is to read them so that’s what I started to do. I read at least two each day to help get a feel for how they should go. I buy reference books about places I want to put into my screenplays and people I want to use. I have looked at OLD plays to see if they could give me an idea for something great. Each thought I have that might resemble a story I write it down (everywhere). I have found that the ideas come faster then I can do anything about them and sometimes all it does is sidetrack me enough so I forget what I am doing. I have had setbacks that have a times reduced me to tears. There have been those moments when it all just works and I want to jump for joy.


The first real set back was when my computer stopped working on me. It just decided one day that it didn’t like to stay on. After dealing with HP for several days and shedding lots of tears those same days I was still no closer to finding out what was wrong. I finally gave in and called my uncle who works for HP and he was the only one who asked the right questions. It turned out that it was my graphic card and I just had to get a new one. I spent more money in shipping and handling trying to get a part I was told I needed then I did for the part it took to fix it. So here I was now with a computer that was working again and I could work on my screenplays again. I was really smart and made sure that everything I saved I also put it on my external hard drive just in case something happened to my computer again. All was going well for a few (well more than a few) weeks and I thought everything was good. I had gone for my nightly walk one night and this wonderful thought for a great screenplay started running through my head. As soon as I got home I sat down and started writing everything I could remember. I was at it for over 3 hours and wrote almost 20minutes of scenes. I saved it and then went to bed because I was so tired. It wasn’t until about 11:30 the next day that I realize my computer wasn’t working. It was also about the same time that I remembered that I had not saved the script to my external hard drive. I cried and cried that day. I emailed a friend and complained to him and he made my day by responding to it. (still not sure what that’s all about) Come to find out this time it was my internal hard drive and that I had fried it bad. That now left me again with no computer. . .


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