Lessons Learned

Last weekend I offered to read the screenplay of a fellow blogger, Ioannis Batsios, titled The Call. I found the screenplay enjoyable. The screenwriter, Yanni had mentioned a few areas where he wasn’t pleased with his first draft and I offered my suggestions on how he could strengthen those areas. I’m pleased that has also likes one of my favourite suggestions, making his lead character a doctor. He was concerned that the audience wouldn’t connect with Sam, a lawyer at the time. I suggested a doctor because his wife had recently died of an illness and Doctor Sam could carry some guilt that he wasn’t able to save his wife. Whether he could have or not doesn’t matter, he would see himself as a failure for letting his beloved wife die.

As Yanni said in a recent blog post the internet brings like-minded people together to help each other. We’re all in the same boat. We are writing a screenplay, possibility our first and to have someone willing to take the time to read what we have written and offer honest advice is great. Not everything is going to be Oscar-worthy. But discussing the good with the bad gives the author that chance to look at his work with fresh eyes and improve his writing. Reading Yanni’s screenplay last weekend taught me something else.

GET IT WRITTEN

Yanni had admitted there were problems with his screenplay. It was just a first draft but what was important was it was a draft, written out in the form that can be sent out to friends for their review. I’ve been so careful to get the story perfect that I have been afraid to write it down. I have enough of the story put together to start writing the first draft. Once written I can share it, as Yanni did, and ask for opinions, suggestions and advice.

Thank you Yanni for letting me read your screenplay and I hope to read the second draft when it is available. I hope you can find the time in your schedule to read my first draft once it’s complete. I hope to get your opinion as well as anyone else who would like to read it.

Remember, you might have the best idea in the world, but it doesn’t do you any good if it just stays in your head. Sit down and get it on paper. You’ll be glad once it is.

See you next time, Steve

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4 responses to “Lessons Learned

  1. When you say that Yanni sent you his screenplay in a form that his friends can read, do you mean as with Final Draft? When I sent my screenplay to the Nicolls Fellowship, it was in a PDF file but in a Final Draft style. I had a trial copy of Final Draft and now continue to use the font when writing my screenplays. I would love to have you read my screenplays and I would love to read yours and Yanni’s. I hope to see you in April at the Cdn Author’s Assoc meeting.

    • I think Yanni’s blog is yanni3003.wordpress.com. I’ve used MS Word for my screenplays after creating a screenplay format template. I recently moved to a MacBook and started using Scrivener. I’m going to blog about the app in the very near future. I would be happy to read your screenplay. If you have it in PDF feel free to email it to feekwrites(at)gmail.com. Let me know what areas you’d like me focus on. I’ll see you in April.

    • Hi Lynn,

      My script is available on my webpage as a PDF file. I use Celtx.com for my screenwriting software because it’s free and I save them as PDF’s because it’s a universal free format. Thanks for the interest. Just click my name above to go to my website.

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