Friday, January 31, 2014

Save the Cat!

I've been reading the book Save the Cat! over the past week or so, recommended to me by a GREAT source. (To any screenwriters or screenwriting hopefuls out there, I definitely recommend this book to you.)

I would even suggest that you read the book before you sit down to write your screenplay. It's much easier to go in with knowledge than it is to come across it later. I happened to finished my screenplay first THEN started reading this book which can be a tad intimidating. But in writing I've never shied away from a good challenge. I've been blessed enough to have the time and the means to work on my craft comfortably. Which is important when trying to overcome the challenges you're bound to come up against in perfecting your story. Especially when it comes to overcoming self doubt. If you never stop trying and improving and you refuse to give up then you still have a chance!

In the end, fellow screenwriting hopefuls, this book will help guide you on your journey to screenwriting success. 

I'm taking things slow since my husband's only been home for a handful of weeks now. But I've gotten a good ways into the book so far and I've already learned so much! If nothing else, this book helps you put the pieces together. Make sense of things so that you can really produce a great piece of work. 

I will elaborate more once I've finished the book but for now I think you need to know sooner rather than later about the best tool to have in your hands in writing a great screenplay!

Until next time, happy writing!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's That Time of Year Again

Every year I try and set a few writing resolutions for myself. As with any other type of resolution, sometimes I fall short and other times I discover that my direction changes and my goals then change right along with them. But, as stubborn as I am, that won't stop me from putting down a few choice writing goals I have for myself this upcoming year! it goes!

  1. Reach a new/higher level of progress in getting my screenplay for The Wanderer "out there" by the end of the year. No giving up!
  2. Complete at least one more screenplay. Since I'm nearly half-way through my second one, that shouldn't be too difficult.
  3. Publish a new novel, either one I've already started or a fresh idea.
  4. This year I would really like to try and participate in NanoWriMo. It's something I've never done before and I think it would be a fun challenge. Kind of like a writer's version of a marathon.
What about you? Do you have any writing goals this year?! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Thing About Writers Is...

I was watching an interview with J.K. Rolling a little while ago and she said something to the affect of "As a character trait, all writers have pretty thin skin." When she said that and went on to explain, I was yessing her every word. The thing is, I think as a general rule, writers are people who crave a personal and intimate connection with other people. And we accomplish that through our writing. A side affect of that is we tend to be pretty open, passionate, and emotional people. This leaves us with a multitude of weak spots and we tend to be easily hurt by negativity, but it also allows us to be open to absorb praise and gratitude that is basically what we live for. And you just can't have one without the other.

We expect and respect the negative reviews right along with the positive ones but we can't completely brush them off because they imply that we didn't accomplish what we set out to do for those select unhappy readers. We didn't emotionally connect. They didn't understand or appreciate what we were trying to share with them.

In the interview, Rolling also stated that writers don't publish for money. They publish to connect and have a relationship with their readers. Rolling is highly successful in her writing and is ultimately set for life, yet she still desires to publish her stories. Not for the money, but for that connection. This is not unlike the reason behind self-publication for those of us who haven't penetrated the traditional publishing industry (yet!) We don't publish because we are under some glorified delusion that we will, without a doubt, become the next Amanda Hocking, Colleen Hoover, or E.L. James.  We publish to make that connection with our readers. And every. Single. Reader. Is important to us. That relationship we have with them is priceless. In fact, most of us give away dozens of books, just so that we can share our stories with more readers.

I've been told on occasion that I need to get thicker skin. Or I need to take criticism less personally. The problem is, it's just not how I'm designed. To turn off that emotion for one purpose would require that I turn it off entirely. I enjoy the rush and reward of being so sensitive to my emotions and to the world around me too much to even consider for a second that not feeling what hurts me is worth sacrificing feeling what makes me thrive as well.

 To watch the full interview with J.K. Rolling go HERE.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Made For the Big Screen

When I wrote The Wanderer I saw it in lights. Part of why I decided to write the screenplay for it in the first place is because of how vividly I can see it playing out in my mind. Whenever the song "The Wanderer" by Dion and the Belmonts comes on the radio, my heart starts racing as I picture the opening scene of the movie. Landon Bradley riding his Vulcan down a long stretch of highway.
After completing the screenplay, my ambition and my hopes for this story's future have only grown. Over the past few years of establishing my writing career and getting my footing I've come a long way. I started off with the mindset of "Well, I know it's just okay, but I'm working on my craft." Since then I've become a lot more confident in my work. My novels all need a final polish but this screenplay is gold. You just wait and see. I have never been so sure of anything in my life. I don't intend to stop until I make this dream a reality.

Why the abundant amount of confidence, you ask? Well, I'll be honest with you, through novel writing I'd argue that I've discovered my true calling: screenwriting. Don't get me wrong, I love novel writing but it's like I said, when I write I play the scenes out in my mind. When I sat down to write this screenplay, it came so naturally to me. And not just because I had the story mapped out through the novel. The layout and the beat of telling a story in this way felt like second nature and I can't wait to start on my next on.

It's really only a matter of time before I've converted all of my novels over to screenplays. And that's in addition to the fact that I'm interested in trying my hand at writing original screenplays as well. That's a ways off though I imagine. First and foremost I want to make sure that all of my stories have equal opportunity on the big screen!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Experience With I'm A Book Shark Editing Services

When I completed the first draft of my very first screenplay, I wanted to have it polished and perfect and I definitely wanted to get a second opinion from someone knowledgeable and experienced in the field of literary entertainment.

I have known Michelle over at I'm a Book Shark for a while now but we had never worked together before this. When it came time to find an editor for my screenplay, there was no question in my mind that I wanted to use her services and I would definitely do it again!

Her pricing is very reasonable and she's willing to work with you. In addition, she finished the edits in such a reasonable timeframe. On her site she states that, on average, it takes up to four weeks to complete edits. For my screenplay she was finished in about a week!

Her revisions are clear and easy to understand and she covers everything from punctuation to scene enhancement suggestions. Anything that would draw the reader out of your story, she addresses.

I loved Michelle's feedback and enthusiasm for my work. Since reading the screenplay, she's offered to read and review the novel which the screenplay is based off of. As the author, this is the kind of feedback I was hoping for from my audience.

It was truly an enjoyable and easy experience all around! I highly recommend her services!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Adventures in the Writing World For This Girl!

Sooo, I've been working pretty hard on my latest writing project since my husband deployed in late April. And while it's not finished YET, I feel confident enough to tell you that shortly I'll have completed the first draft of my VERY FIRST screenplay!!!

I know that I'm a novel girl by trade, but I have always seen my third novel, The Wanderer as a "big screen" story. Who better to write the screenplay than the author herself! Whatever comes of this great journey, I'm happy to have expanded my horizons! What a FABULOUS experience this has been so far!

As any book to movie story goes, there will be some additions, some cuts, and some modifications in order for the story to flow better on screen. The thing is, I wrote The Wanderer, as mentioned before, as if it already was a movie playing out in my head so if you know the story and love it as is I doubt you'll be disappointed. In fact, I sort of wish a few of my favorite novels turned movies had been written by the authors for this very reason.

Screenwriters change up novels for a lot of different reasons when converting them. One reason being that they need to throw in their own creative flair. They need to make the story their own. Well, as the author, the story already is my own, and I love it how it is in its essence. So now I get to work on just perfecting it. And of course as I've been writing the screenplay I've been tortured to some degree by questions like, "Now why didn't I write this the first time around, it sounds so much better?!" But as any fellow writer knows or will tell you, the job of writing a story is never "complete". There simply comes a time, especially as a self-published or indie author ,where you just have to walk away. That's what Re-writes and new editions are for.

As for trying my hand at screenplay writing, it certainly is much different. I will most definitely have to go back and edit, edit, edit, before I even CONSIDER submitting it anywhere. The style of writing a screenplay is much more technical. Entirely technical in fact. There's really no "flair" in the bare bones of the story, it's all a matter of setting a scene and putting dialogue together. This has made the experience all the more interesting for me because it certainly is a challenge for me since I can be a bit wordy in my writing. It forces me to find ways to get out of the character's head and figure out how to convey the same story with the same inflections and mood/tone with only actions and dialogue.

What a great exercise this has been!

To those of you out there who have enjoyed any or all of my novels, don't worry! I am equally as exciting to get back into novel writing as well but when this opportunity presented itself I just had to go for it!

I'll be keeping you posted! Until then, Happy Reading!!!