Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Wrote a Screenplay

Why write when you can waste time mocking up a cover for a book you haven't actually written?

So a month ago I thought to myself, why not try writing a screenplay? I've gotten stuck trying to write anything else and I figured that, assuming I could finish it, I could then turn it into a novel. And if I never got around to that, at least I'd have written a screenplay.

I picked a story that I've already written one and half times and that was the most movie-like. The current title is Hell or High Water. Here's the log line:

A womanizing country boy and a sarcastic city girl must save a riverfront dude ranch from a killer demon.

This was my method:
  1. I plotted it out to around forty scenes uses techniques from the Save the Cat! screenwriting books.
  2. Using the voice recorder on my phone, I went through every scene and told myself the story in as much detail as I could. I first did this on the fanfic I wrote back in May and found it very helpful.
  3. I transcribed everything (about 90 minutes worth of audio!) into a Word document.
  4. Using a great free writing program called yWriter, I made every scene from Step 1 into a scene in the program.
  5. I copied and pasted everything from the Word document into the Notes section of the relevant scene in yWriter.
  6. yWriter makes it easy to move scenes around (just drag and drop) so I moved things around until I was happy with their order.
  7. I started writing, one scene at a time, using the stuff in the Notes section as my guide.
And that's it.  Along the way I had to add or delete a few scenes, but nothing major. I tried to write a couple scenes every day and even though I got close to giving up a few times, I managed to keep at it and finished in almost exactly a month. I'm going to let it sit for a while and then revise it. Once I've got the screenplay in good shape, then I'll think about turning it into a novel.


  1. Hi Anonymous. I've checked all the links in my post and they seem to be working fine so I assume you are asking for a link to the screenplay. I'm pleased that you are interested in reading it but since it is an unedited first draft I have not put it online. My ultimate goal is to turn it into a novel so I am not planning on putting it online at all because that could ultimately affect the novel's ability to sell.