Screwy Screenplays

I don’t know if it’s the cold talking or what (sick twice in one month, folks!), but I just haven’t had my heart in this screenplay I’ve been working on for some time now.

Quick recap: last summer, when I met my boss at the entertainment company I interned for, he suggested I submit my own material, even without an agent.  “Lord knows you’ve earned it,” he said.  At that point, I’d covered about 70 scripts, 150 by the time I left in November, and had shown a solid understanding of what makes a good and a bad script.  Even came up with a little shorthand for my reports; if my comments began with “there’s no sugarcoating this…” then chances are it sucks.

It wasn’t until August a few months after that first meeting that an idea came to mind that I thought would make a pretty decent screenplay.  I sent the synopsis and later the outline, and then I got to work writing the first draft.  I figured it can’t be as hard as writing fiction, right?

Wrong.  It’s harder.

Writing a screenplay and enjoying a screenplay are two different things.  Of course, I used to say the same thing about writing fiction.  Screenwriting was decidedly never an option for me until recently, the logic being that that, growing up in Los Angeles, I knew that everyone had a movie to peddle; even your grandparents’ cat Muffy wrote one.  The earliest stories I wrote were terrible, but I got better at it over time.

So am I abandoning screenwriting?  Not exactly.  I am going to abandon this screenplay I was working on.  My heart hasn’t been in it for a while.  Instead, I’m taking a step back and hacking away at smaller scenes to build up my muscles.

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