On a whim a couple of years ago I urged my writers group, Cryptopolis, to all enter the screenplay competition held by the Austin Film Festival. My reasoning: we were all writing novels; a screenplay had to be easier since it was only dialog, right?

That sound is the sound of screenwriters everywhere laughing hysterically.

Anyway, I never sent mine in, because it turns out, this is hard. Who knew? Two of my friends made finalist and semifinalist that year, though, because they actually knew what they were doing and did it well.

Now it’s 2011, and I decided to take a look at that screenplay that I totally went down in flames on. And once again, completely on a whim, I decided to fix it up and give it a go. I don’t like to let projects languish and I hate giving up on them, even when probably I should.

The late deadline is fast approaching, but I think I can get it done in time, and in good enough shape, that it won’t be too embarrassing. And there’s a science fiction category too, so it might have the slimmest chance.

The screenplay is based on Storms of Light and Shadow, which came out in the StarStepping anthology put out by Wild Child a few years ago. I wrote this story back in 1996, and it was the first one that made me feel like I was getting a handle on this writing gig.

I will be sure to let you know how it goes.




Emily · June 1, 2011 at 10:26 am

Good luck! I entered this year for the first time, too. (Although in the teleplay category.) Screenplay writing is incredibly hard, but the pace of jumping between dialogue and action is so much fun, don’t you think?

Patrice Sarath · June 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

Thanks, and good luck to you as well! I agree about the degree of difficulty. It’s such a different form of storytelling, but I can see how it could become addictive.

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