My Continuing Journey As An Aspiring Screenwriter (Part Two – The PROS)

My last post was long enough, so I’ll get right to it:

PROS:

1. I absolutely LOVE to write. I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember. There’s nothing I enjoy more than turning on some jazz, getting out my laptop or a pen and pad. Some wine wouldn’t be too bad, either. Over the years, I’ve gotten much better. I started off writing poetry and then I went on to writing books and now I’m venturing into screenwriting. I love to learn new things as it is, but when it’s related to writing, I’m just a kid about it. It’s amazing to pour out some of the ideas in my head and even more amazing to go back and read. I’m often surprised at what I’ve been able to come up with. I know a lot of people venture into screenwriting hoping to get that ONE big check or two. Not me…this is something I hope to have to be forced to retire from. Sometimes when I’m about 126 years old.

2. I originally thought all I needed to do was to come up with the movie idea or the treatment, but I found out that preparing a spec script is my best bet. A treatment is basically a series of paragraphs that summarize the entire movie or TV show and it can done in a matter of a few pages. A movie script can be anywhere between 90 and 120 pages (recommended for new screenwriters). You would think that I’d rather do just the treatment, but the good thing about doing the full spec script is that I have to play the entire movie out in my head and put it all down on paper. That’s basically all a spec script is (It’s called “spec” because it’s the very first one). I come up with the characters and spell the entire thing out. It’s much more specific, but I’ve had more fun doing it that way than to just summarize. It paints a much bigger picture and allows me to see a lot more. Plus, in the event that my idea is received well, having a script prepared is much better than telling the agent, “Hold on, I haven’t written it yet.”

3. I’m able to get out a lot of what I’d like to get out. All writers already get this one. That’s a big reason we do so much writing; to get out a lot of what we’re thinking and feeling. When it comes to screenwriting, I can either make myself the good guy or the bad guy, depending on how I’m feeling that day. Let’s say that my opinion on something is the unpopular one (which is often the case). I can immerse that into my screenplay(s). How people receive them is a different story, but what this also allows me to do is to create characters that could be on all sides of whatever the topic is. Let’s say I’m doing a movie that involves gun control. I’ll need to create characters that are on both sides of the debate and then that fool who wants to be neutral. There’s always one. Y ep…and that fool is usually me.

4. The possibility of reaching anyone in the entire world. Wow. That’s all I have to say for this one. If I can create a great script that will someday become a movie, then anyone in the world will be able to see it. That’s mind-blowing in itself. I could be helpful to people in terms of life problems, relationships, or simple entertainment. I can barely get all my friends to read something of mine. I certainly can’t even imagine reaching the entire world with something.

5. Screenwriting Contests. Nah, I didn’t copy and paste from Part One by accident. I say this is also a PRO because winning these contests can do a LOT for an aspiring screenwriter. It’s said that producers and agencies contact these contests to find out the winners or who placed high enough and they sometimes contact the screenwriters themselves, and I understand that quite a few screenwriters have been able to launch their careers this way. This is also a good way to receive feedback, which is something I want desperately as well. It costs more and I HAVE to enter into the contest before I can receive it, but many times, I look more forward to that than I do anything else. I started off thinking that I would NEVER be able to receive feedback, but once I found out that I could, I look for it every time.

Okay, friends, that’s all for now. I know many of you were just dying to know about all this. Anyway, thanks for reading and I’ll be glad to share more as time goes on.

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