Well after a month of sweat I won Script Frenzy again this year.
Go me go me!
And kudos to the more than 450 other writers who cranked out 100 pages (or more) this year. The screenplay’s far from done, I’ve got at least 10 more pages left and a serious rewrite for May, but I achieved my goal, and the contest stimulated the old imagination, which is always a plus. And best of all, I REALLY LIKE Quest for the Soul Stone now, which is not something that I could say before.
So to all my readers who participated, congratulations!
And now a word from our sponsor – if you participated (or even if you didn’t but wish you had) please consider donating a bit of your spare change to Script Frenzy. They are way below on their donations again this year and could use the help to spread good karma the world over. I bought myself a shirt and intend to buy either this year’s shirt or a travel mug (or both) soon. Also, if you are unable to donate money in this nasty economy, you can still help by using the search engine Goodsearch. All you have to do is type in which charity you would like to donate the money and Goodsearch donates cash to your charity of choice. At last count the folks at the Office of Letters and Light, who run the Screnzy, received a fat check for $1000, so it’s definitely a good way to help them out.
That’s it for me. Peace out, yo.
So let me tell you how glad I am that my screenplay is NOT going to crash and burn.
Glad. VERY glad indeed.
Seriously this has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever written since my first spec script I wrote three years ago. It’s been a pretty painful process, which is bizarre since compared to everything else I’ve written this has been the most thought out, well-organized script I’ve ever written. I made a four page treatment, Acts I, II and III. I had a paragraph on each character. Even illustrations.
And then on Day 1 of Script Frenzy I realized I hated my script.
I spent the next week scrambling trying to figure out what to write instead. I had a vague idea about a guy that died, an angel, a group of wanderers in desert, but nothing remotely concrete.
But since I’m ML for Denver it wasn’t like I could just quit. I had minions (er fellow writers) looking up to me for inspiration you know. So I just had to suck it up and deal with it. And you know, now that I’ve reread my first 76 pages, it’s not as awful as I initially anticipated. In fact, after the rewrite, it will be darn near entertaining. I say near because it still needs quite a bit of work but hey, what are rewrites for?
So yesterday Skyla and I had a write-in at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
We were pretty stoked about this as it would be a write-in for the entire state. However only four people showed up- Skye, myself, and Skye’s two friends. Our other ML, Crash, was nowhere to be found (Crash, where were you and your denizens of Fort Collins?)
It was cool meeting her in person though. We got everything worked out prior to being at the Museum. I commend her for organizing events as well as she’s had, especially since my script frenzy email wasn’t working. And even though there were only four of us, we still had a blast. Turns out you can eat in the Museum cafeteria without having to pay Museum admission, which is pretty sweet. We basically plunked ourselves down at a table by the window and wrote/typed/commiserated for three hours. Good times.
So now I’m on page 50 of “Quest for the Soul Stone.” Last year I was much further along. Although last year I liked my screenplay a lot better. I’ve figured out the problem. I didn’t like the story going into it. I mean, I liked it two weeks prior. I enjoyed writing the outline. I had everything figured out. Then the day Screnzy started I realized I HATED the movie. Ouch. You ever wonder if someone working on the film knew the film was bad? You ever wonder why they kept working on it? I’ll tell you why: it’s because they’ve spent so much time planning it, they have people depending on them to finish it and they are so gung-ho about finishing what they start that they refuse to the see the crap bubbling up before their eyes like some primordial stew and they doggedly persist even when they know they should scrap the whole thing and start over.
But I’m here to tell you friends, that is the nature of the first draft. Seriously, how many of you out there can read your first drafts and NOT say that they are a bloody mess? Even “Xia,” screenplay that I love with the warmth of a thousand suns, is but a mere shadow of it’s former first draft self.
Fortunately for me, being an ML means that I should set a good example, which is the reason why I haven’t quit the contest entirely. And because I haven’t quit, I’ve been searching for ways to make my screenplay work. And last night, as my friend D’awn and I watched “The Forbidden Kindgom,” the answer appeared to me.
Make the movie fun.
That’s right, what this story lacked was a serious sense of enjoyment. The audience should enjoy the ride, be excited by what they see, not spoken to as if they are attending a funeral dirge. The concept is exciting, the characters need to be so too.
So I am adding more elements of danger, suspense, surprise, and hopefully that will make the story more engaging.
And heart. Lots of heart.
So I’m working on my sixth screenplay…wow, that sounds so cool.
It’s entitled (so far) “Quest for the Soul Stone.” It’s for Script Frenzy, and after extensive edits I’ll post it on Trigger Street.
As far as screenplays go this has been the most difficult to write, one because the deadline is so tight, but the real reason is because I’m not too stoked on the plot. I’m hoping to find a gem that I can exploit but at the moment the characters and storyline are flat to me. They’ve yet to jump off the page. That ever happen to any of you?
But you know, another part of me is like “It’s cool if this screenplay never goes anywhere.” I believe there are stories we write that are destined for greatness and stories we write that basically serve as lengthy practice sessions.
And this one’s a practice session.
And that’s cool with me.
It has returned! From the crazy minds of The Office of Letters and Light, creators of National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, comes the 2nd Annual Script Frenzy!
What is this fabulous frenzy of which I speak?
Well my friends, it is the opportunity to finally make your dream script a reality. During the month of April, you are challenged to write 100 PAGES of script. And since the average screenplay is between 90 and 120, that’s totally legit!
And it CAN be done! I won this competition last year with my script, “Darkness Rising.” Best of all, the contest is absolutely FREE, you can meet fun folks through the message boards, and when you win, you get a nifty icon to put on your blog, website, etc.
I’ll be reporting on my progress as the contest begins next month.
Check it out here!
And while you’re at it, read the awesome interview of
Jen Arzt, Script Frenzy’s Program Director.
Sign up today and prepare to write!
Been so busy working on other things I forgot to put this up. So back in May my friend Mesha invited me to participate in this contest from the makers of NaNowrimo called
Script Frenzy. The goal was to write 20,000 words of an original screenplay in one month, June 1 through June 30th. You cut and paste your screenplay into the site (first scrambling it so that it looks like a bunch of magical A’s) then the site calcuatles your word total and you get this nifty banner. Since I wrote 21,656 words – I’m a winner! And the best part of all – I now have a second feature length script “Darkness Rising” the story of a down-on-her-luck monster hunter who must save NYC from a 10,000 year old beast. Exciting stuff. You’ll see it on TriggerStreet in a few months, but for now, enjoy the beauty that is the snazzy banner.