Bier de Stone ( wrote,
Bier de Stone

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The other day, I met a guy at work who saw that I was reading a book called Your screenplay sucks and we got to talking. He happens to be a writer too and we both were able to relate on the difficulty of overcoming writer’s block. With me, I get so caught up in pouring my soul out onto the paper that I fail to realize how boring my life appears on paper. So we’re exchanging views on the subject of holding our readers attention without risking that the actual finished screenplay might be set down prematurely (before the reader gets to the good part), when he offers to give my manuscript a read.

I said, my stuff isn’t on the computer. I have software that helps in structuring the story line, but every time I try to use it for polishing up the finished product, I’m always editing the slightest little thing. So I decided to use an old manual typewriter so that I would have the hard copy already printed the moment I typed it. I offered to scan the few pages I have so far completed and e-mail them. We traded e-mail address.

Things have been so chaotic at work, though, I decided that I would keep his e-mail in the book I’m reading slowly to humor myself while I’m stuck dealing with the “public service” of my job. I am Ozzy is such a great read, I don’t want to lug the book around so that I can finish it in a few hours. I’m keeping it at work and reading it at the circulation desk between customers. The customers must think I’m totally insane when they walk up to me and I have this smirk of a grin that I can’t erase from my face long enough to help the customer. Anyways, come Monday, I’ve already scanned my fifteen pages, I’ll bring the note home and attach my manuscript with a brief note (excuse) welcoming his unbiased opinion on how he would go about completely destroying the scenes as I’m convinced I should start over again from scratch.

Have you ever watched a movie and thought to yourself how you might have done one or two things differently? Like a line that the actor has, or a song in the background. It’s easy to criticize other people’s work, but since I usually find myself criticizing something that has already been produced, I feel that there’s no harm in that. I know what I want my screenplay to be about, I’m just having trouble thinking up things to heighten suspense long enough to retain my audience’s attention. For instance, in Ozzy’s book describes how he panicked one day when he heard the cops knocking at his front door because he was currently high on cocaine and there was all kinds of drugs lying around. When he couldn’t manage to gather himself long enough to successfully flush the marijuana down the toilet, he decides to try to snort all the cocaine before the cops arrive into the bathroom.

As far as I’m concerned, he did everything right. When cops come knocking at your door, they don’t need to know every crevice of your house to find where you’ve stashed your pot. They have dogs to sniff that out. If it were me, I would’ve had the chimney blazing a gigantic flame and tossed the pot into the fire; then, the toilet wouldn’t have gotten clogged and there wouldn’t have been a problem flushing the coke.

Having said that, if somebody were to hand me a finished screenplay and told me to touch it up so that it would work, I would go completely crazy on somebody else hard work and stick a purple gossamer in the story somewhere. That’s a lot to ask of a total stranger. I’m just happy that I met the guy as some of the meet-up groups I’ve participated in in the past to try to hook up with similar writers just never panned out the way I thought they would.
Tags: gasp, screenwriting

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