Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Call for Questions

It's been a while since the last round of reader questions so I figured I'd open the floor up to all of you. I know I've been a little lax in responding to e-mail questions of late, so if I've missed a question you sent via email, please send it again and I'll do my best to get to it.

A lot of you guys are writers so I hope you'll challenge me with a lot of creative questions.


  1. What are your thoughts on ambitious projects to really show off your voice vs realistically-might-be-bought-from-a-first-time-writer?

    If the initial goal is really to be noticed, surely a big budget period epic will serve your writing better if that's what you really want to write, rather than coming up with a low budget containable thriller or something for the sake of it. Or would the big budget period epic risk making the new writer look as though they don't understand budgets/the market and therefore unprofessional?

  2. In my spare time when I'm not doing original work, I like to work on fan-fiction. While I'll drop this when I receive my first professional gig, one major plus is I am doing it in script format to hone my craft. It's mainly for fun during down-time, plus I don't have the pressure of original specs. The style isn't anything I can really submit for writing samples, although I am working on a number of specs in various genres to show my writing capabilities.

    I would like to post these online to entertain fellow fans, but considering I want to be a screenwriter, would it be wise to write under an alias? I would like to go for a job on a currently running show, but would I be less likely to get an assignment if the Producers see I write fan-fiction based on the show? Would a future employer frown on me if they found out that I previously wrote fan-fiction? Can any good come of posting it under my real name? I mean, I take pride in my work and I want people to know I created these scripts. By the same token, however, I can understand the other side of the argument.

    I know it sounds like a stupid question, but I'm genuinely curious on protocol.

  3. About what to say.

    About ten years ago, I wrote a couple of screenplays that were made into B movies, then I got sucked into an 8 yr Deadbooks web project, now I'm free again and am back to screenplays...

    And need to get an agent.

    If you were querying - which I'll probably have to do -

    Would you mention the movies?

    The web project?

    And since I have no intention of moving back to LA, but love to visit ( I know the obstacles that that will create), when would you mention that?

    Thanks for your help

  4. What are some common mistakes that people make on treatments? And if you don't know that. What is the one thing that automatically when you see it in the first 10 pages of a script you already know it's over(their chances)

  5. What is your take on the Amazon Studio project?

  6. Why do you think HWood is not demanding a form to fill out before sending a script? It could have questions that would tell you if it's worth it. Kind of like a Coverage sheet but with things like:

    Last Theory
    Last Book Read
    Define a transition, etc.

    It would be a lot easier to determine the proficiency of the writer BEFORE AND AFTER reading the script.

    A movie is a script written with care and technical proficiency. It should have character contrasts, scene transitions(auditory and visual) and above all should have bad grammar and sentence fragments in the dialog.

  7. Hello Bitter, I'm sure you've covered some of this before on your blog, but please refresh our memories.

    On average, how many scripts do you read per week?

    Do you find time to work on your own scripts in between reading, and is it distracting/frustrating/tiresome reading other people's work all the time?

    How many scripts have you written? In what genres?

    What made you want to be a writer?

    What are some of your favorite scripts? Favorite movies?


  8. Screenwriting analysts tend to advise first-timers not to make your screenplay, and especially your first ten pages, not look like a novel structurally i.e. leave a lot of white space. However, my latest script has a dialog-free and relatively lengthy first scene.

    What'd be your suggestion in making sure the description and scene action doesn't pile up into novel-like paragraphs?

    I've heard everything from simply breaking up descriptive passages to make it appear more spacey to including a note on the query letting the reader know the first scene is silent.

    Thanks in advance.