Screenwriting… easy, right?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have got this blog back up an running mainly to give myself some focus and get myself witting fit again.

But why?

Well, with my novel complete and yet far too niche for any agents to bite, I will self-publish that, put it to the side and let the millions and adoration come rolling on in. Done. But then what do I do to fill in my time? Another novel? Hmmm (I pondered, whilst watching some series or other on Amazon) And that’s when it hit me POW! Screenwriting! Of course! With this current revolution in the way we all watch TV – moving from network channels to online viewing and box sets – there is a now a huge market for screenwriters. And not only that; it seems almost anything is given consideration, going by some of the concepts inherent in the new shows presently available from Amazon and Netflix Originals (please note that I am not referring here to the Grand Tour on Amazon, which is load of tripe).

So, with a novel that no publisher wants behind me, it’s time to look forward… although saying that, I am tempted to turn my novel into a screenplay, as much to gain experience than anything else. I’ll let you know what I discover along the way.

And so on that subject, I am now going to return to reading my screenplay bible – The Complete Screenwriting Course by Charles Harris – and will be back in touch soon to see where I am going to go with this.

What I can tell you right now, however, is that at first glance screenwriting is a lot more complex than simply churning out a story. But who said this was going to be easy? (Well, actually, the promoters of the book I’m reading kind of hinted at it, but I guess they have to).

Thanks for reading


5 comments on “Screenwriting… easy, right?

  1. jdaggett7 says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I am trying my hand at it now and just finished my first pilot….but felt like I was pretending to know what I was doing the whole time….

    • gpeynon says:

      I certainly get that feeling too, but I guess pretending to know what we are doing will eventually lead to us actually knowing what we’re doing. I hope! Good luck with your pilot.

  2. BookTeeth says:

    Maybe your book is different, but I’ve always found these screenwriting “bibles” to be kind of constricting/scammy, at least as far as craft is concerned. They tend to put forth all kinds of rules (“don’t direct on the page” or “the second act must begin on this page and last this long” or whatever) that, based on what scripts I’ve read (which is a lot) and the movies I’ve seen (even more) are kinda bullshit.. If all you need is a guide to the format, I guess the book might be useful (but then again, so would reading a bunch of scripts). But it also seems like your book goes into the development side of things as well, which does seem pretty useful — hope it works out for you!

    • gpeynon says:

      Yeah, this book does seem to cover everything. Like you say, I was really after a guide to formatting a script, but ironically, Charles Harris doesn’t dwell on that for long at all. What he does do is offer a formula, and more importantly, exercises designed to get the creative juices flowing. On the first read of this book, I actually had to keep returning to my novel as the ideas he posed were so well put and well thought out, that in the end a screenwriting guide became a cloth with which to polish my novel. Yes, he offers advice similar to that which you mention, and I’ve also read and scorned books such as this, but this book really does give a formula that I think will work. Of course only time will tell. Thanks for your comments.

  3. Tan M Butler says:

    I studied screenwriting at university and now I’m trying to write my first book, so the opposite of your current situation and am finding the latter more challenging than expected. I think it’s because I spent such a long time writing just action or dialogue and now there’s lot of weird and wonderful sentences I’m having to construct. My advice is to keep doing what you’re doing, it sounds like you’ve already got a good grasp.

    This is useful for formatting and there may be some potential networking opportunities.

    Good luck

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