Back to the Screenplay

It’s the first day of my summer vacation, and I have committed myself to trying to write. Really write, not kinda write. The kind of writing that can eventually get me a career as a writer, that kind of writing.

I have several half-finished projects, so I decided to start there. One of my favorite pieces of writing that I’ve done is a screenplay that I half finished when I took a class at USF several summers ago. The professor for that class told me that if this was the quality of my writing, that I should move to LA so I could pursue a career. That was probably the best compliment I’ve ever gotten in my life. But I stopped writing. Why? Because the class ended. But more importantly, I became aware that I was using too much flashback for my screenplay, and the professor agreed. In fact, the whole thing takes place almost entirely in flashback.  That makes it obvious that the character is not in any real danger since he is still there at the end of the movie to tells everything that happened before.  Once I became aware of this, I made an error: I revised and rewrote the first 10 pages of the script.  I should have finished what I had going on and then revised afterwards.  So I put it on the back burner and never turned the heat back on.

So this morning, I reread the first 63 pages that I had written for that class. I also reread the brainstorming I had done before I started writing. It turns out that I am almost done.  In fact, I’m at the second plot point, so I’m about 75% done. I think the best thing for me is to go ahead and finish this screenplay totally.

And then, the rewrite. You see, I knew at the beginning that the protagonist was going to be a comic book fan. But over the past couple years that I haven’t been writing I have developed a real appreciation for WWE wrestling,. I had mentioned the fact that he liked wrestling when I was setting up the character, but now I think I’ll include much more wrestling terms and basic moves as he’s doing his thing, and I may change the title. The title right now is Suicidal Tendencies, but if I change it to add more wrestling, I may change the title to The Kayfabe Kid. My professor suggested that the title Suicidal Tendencies was too dark, too dismal, and may not attract the kind of audience I was hoping to reach out to. I was pretty much committed to the title, but The Kayfabe Kid includes a wrestling term and has the alliteration of a comic book superhero.

Anyhow that’s what I’ve accomplished today. I have reread my first 63 pages, made some corrections and suggestions for myself, and now I’m ready to write more. If I work hard at it, I can finish it by the end of the week – two weeks tops.  And then, no matter what else, I can say that I have finished a screenplay. No more “I’m working on a screenplay” or “I’m partway through a screenplay” but “Yep, I’m done. I’m working on rewrites now and looking for an agent.”

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