an early 2015 update!

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Hi everyone!!

I know it’s been an age – but glad to be back, even if it’s for a brief spell. My excuses: my schedule’s been packed writing, pitching, marketing myself and also keeping busy reading for other writers and getting to know some incredibly warm and talented friends.

The good news: after nearly seven to eight months of butting rhino-hard against Hollywood’s ‘unbreakable’ wall, new experiences filled with its share of excitement but also caustic amounts of heartbreak, I am finally getting just a tiny bit closer to the goals I set for myself early last year: placing highly in a few contests, securing a nice amount of industry requests and reads, getting a paid assignment offer which I ultimately decided to reject (long story), and quite recently (and this is the best part!) getting someone from a studio I respect to confirm his commitment to one of my projects with the joint hope we can develop it further.

It’s an exciting time… but I am trying to err on the side of caution since anything can change and the movie-making process is a hard one! That said, the biggest lesson I have learned in this process is if you believe in your stories and have made all your best efforts, keep writing and keep persevering. Also, more importantly, no matter how many lows you are inevitably going to experience in the process… and yes, some of them may literally pump the breath out of you, always do your best… and have FUN anyway!:) I always have to remind myself, life is more than just sitting and writing – but at the same time, writing is bigger than life (yeah, talk about a giant contradiction – but it’s true!)

I have so much more I want to say, but will leave these thoughts as is, for now! While my posts may be fewer, this blog will always be up in the hopes that some of my albeit ‘random’ thoughts will provide some level of encouragement and resource to others with similar dreams and aspirations! Oh and forgive  my grammar today, it isn’t the greatest!!

If anyone would like to get in touch with me to say hello or have any questions, feel free to post in comments, OR… there’s always email (hit the ‘about’ tab above).! Wishing you all an incredible writing week, and also, a big and very grateful thanks to everyone who takes the time every day to stop by and read this blog (despite my posts not being as frequent lately)

THANK YOU.

WINTER THOUGHTS: Writing! Pitching and other… dare-I-say ’emotional’ stuff…

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Hey fellow scribes!

Its been ages since I have been back – I know I promised I would return months earlier, but things have been crazy heavy on my end so it’s almost a relief that I have finally had some time to share thoughts on the blog.

The last two months have been a whirlwind of activity on my end. I had some requests for two of my scripts from a few production companies and agencies (HURRAY! Who woulda thunk?), then found there were some revisions I still wanted to make before passing it on, so that’s kept me busy for a while and now it’s a waiting game to see whether any of them will bite (or not, I am trying to be wise and keeping myself occupied with other projects)

One of the things that I am slowly learning is what you think works well isn’t always what other people concur with, but on the same note, I have also found the complete opposite to be true – though in the end subjective as Hollywood is, ultimately everyone wants a great story or two (including myself) which is what I have been busy striving for. Along the way, I have also spent a lot of time simply reading more and more scripts, analyzing them, learning from them and also for the first time in my life, actually ‘pitched’ to some Hollywood studios and managers through every means I could possibly find.

A little bit about pitching on my side: I have always been a bit of a shy person (like seriously I was so shy in high school that even though I could sing decently, when we had a group project which we were introducing with a music number, I pretended I sucked and couldn’t hold a note to save my life, to avoid doing it in front of people). So my point is I had no idea how I was going to manage it – but it’s one of those things where if you really love something and want to do it regardless of everything else in your life, you just find ways to work your way through it – which in my case meant spending countless early and nightly hours rehearsing and recording and pitching to anyone who was willing to listen. In this case, close friends, my spouse, my parents, even my dog at one point since being a busy parent with two young kids who also have had learning difficulties, I really don’t have the luxury of much time during the day. Also I discovered that while there are several great tips on the internet out there about how to pitch, how much to pitch, what to say, what not to say, at the end the key takeaway that I got is ‘passion’ and knowing how to sell the hell out of your characters! Every exec I have had the good fortune so far to pitch to seemed to be gunning for these things: great concept, story, passion, character… and also ‘similar but different’. By ‘similar but different’, an antecedent or a  different spin on a Hollywood movie that’s been done before – as they all seem to want a successful film they can compare yours to. It’s been an interesting adventure to navigate for me overall: learning what each specific exec is looking for, how to target the right people for my projects, what details to give, what details to avoid and finding myself, slowly, but surely getting a bit better each time. I have also had a majority of hits and misses, but have found myself learning a ton from both, particularly from the misses.

I will admit, there are times these last few whirlwind months that I have just wanted to put it all away and curl up into a ball and find something else (I sometimes miss being that kid who played with dinosaurs and wanted to be a paleontologist) but over all the ‘marketing’ and ‘do they want it? don’t they want it?’ hoopla, it’s remembering why I wrote them in the first place that’s kept me grounded and keeping the chin high up. I mean, sounds corny but just feeling strongly like there are some stories worth telling and characters who choose the writer to tell them, not the other less humbler way around, are just some of the factors that’s kept me personally awake every morning.

Also every job is hard and screenwriting is no exception. You write something for months, sometimes even years and years, with endless acquaintances and family members thinking you are lazy or crazy (whichever)  and just chasing a frivolous pipe dream that most people often don’t get to achieve – my own journey has felt many a time, rather than simply a pursuit of passion, a high-pitched battle. A constant fight that constantly threatens to eclipse your own innate desire to do what you can’t help doing regardless of all the reasons NOT to do it. So in the end, above all things, the only thing that’s helped battle the highs and lows or shall we say, the ‘blues’ is this:

To screw everything else and KEEP writing ANYWAY!!!!!!!!   JUST…. WRITE!

And maybe down the road, good things will happen, but for now… I am putting on my writing cap and getting back to work:).

A quick summer update on where I am!

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Hey everybody!

I know it’s been a while since I have written. There’s a lot going on at the moment. I completed two screenplays and have been busy doing ongoing quick revisions and preparing to market them. I thought I might finish one earlier in the year, but the fact that I finished two one week after the other, came a bit unexpected. I have been receiving some nice reviews and generally good notes on the stories and their prospects – but also being ‘novice’ to the process of putting out my scripts, I am continuing to discover new things and trying to take each day as a new learning experience!

I recently applied to a few screenwriting contests as well (for the first time, more on that later) and may be applying to one or two more later in the year, along with recently taking advantage of the Blacklist which I am having a great experience with so far. With that, also working on some rewrites for two other fantasy projects along with the fact that the kids are home nabbing the rest of my spare time for the summer, so things have been a bit crazy on my end – leaving the blog posts sporadic for now at best.

That said, I will try to return with some goodies later in September! There is so much I have been learning lately, not only about the whole writing process, but also what is expected from a new writer just in the last few months that perhaps may be fun and worth sharing on the blog. Hopefully when my schedule allows, I can return with some thoughts that may help any other writers on a similar journey along with some news on where things are going with my projects.

Thanks for continuing to read the blog and look forward to continuing the adventure!:)

Sincerely,

The Novice Screenwriter

Oh and P.S. one of my biggest lessons in all this ‘finishing my scripts’ lark  is SCRIPT REVISIONS basically never end until it’s nearly into production, LOL! Ok, I may be exaggerating but  I am hoping to near that point soon where someone will say, ‘ENOUGH, you landlubber! We are buying it!’ Till then, I will continue to hammer away at my poor laptop and stay afloat!

The delicious feeling of completing a script!

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Hey everybody! I have been off the wall for a while, BUT… I just officially completed one of my screenplays (the final edit) over the weekend and even better, actually managed to send it out at the eleventh hour to a major contest, so feeling on top of the world like Leo at the moment! The feeling that comes with that territory is something hard to explain – I was terribly nervous, in fact  the most nervous I have ever been when I did the deed (seriously, imagine you are this twitchy tiny human and there is a giant dragon coming after you and you are running until you are at the end of the cliff, and the only choice you have is to go back to be eaten by the dragon or fall off the precipice and die anyway, ps I would probably pick the precipice, even though I hate heights!) but now it feels like whether or not it’s perfect, whether or not it is a success, that I have done something important for myself this week – and that something is the feeling of completing a story that was important for me to write, with characters who I have grown to love and who have shared the limited space in my brain along with my spouse, my kids, my family, for oh – simply ages!

Not that I didn’t actually work my sheer ASS, brains, fingers, toes off to ‘perfect’ it and get it done, because I did (yesterday was my first day off writing anything in nearly a year – hell yeah! I need a life – oh wait, writing IS my life now, haha!)

So at the moment, simply letting myself revel and enjoy that brief moment of happiness before I get into the real challenges – which is to find my feet again, balance out the competitive nature of the real world with my own idealistic beliefs and make sure I have done all my research and  get it out to the right people. While I still have a long way to go to get to the rest (see my goal post from ages back, yeah, I am behind, but who cares? I am doing it, yesssss!), I would like to think of this if anything,  at least as a stepping stone to better things. I hope.

Now to get all cool and  level-headed and onto complete the rest of my goals – another script I should be hopefully completing in another two weeks. And getting back to my other scripts and revving up some more ideas in the back burner!  The one thing that I have found has been most helpful this weekend is knowing now that I can actually get to some ‘ending point’ in this long creative adventure – given how badly you want to make something ‘perfect’  sometimes I did wonder if I ever would… or could… here’s to doing it!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful time with their story worlds, till next time!

ciao!

 

P.S. Isn’t that baby the cutest thing ever??

Amazing Spiderman 2 Confusion, anyone?

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Hi everybody!

Missed the blogosphere! It’s been a while since I have blogged – lots going on, on my side of the world/shore – also because my script-wrapping seems to be endless – what with personal stuff and also just making sure I get it right versus sending out something that may be ok, but not at its very best! Anyway, for anyone who went and saw ‘The Amazing Spiderman 2’ this past weekend, is a fan of these movies in general, and were wondering about a certain (confusing) death in the end like I was,  (SPOILERS, not here but in the links) thought these would be some interesting articles to pass on along with all the ten million easter eggs that also apparently existed within the film. If you are curious, here are the links:

Vulture Magazine 

comicbook.com 

Entertainment weekly 

I did have a ton of thoughts about this movie as a whole (though unlike my usual rant, I am keeping it ludicrously brief here as I have to jet back to work), overall I liked it more than Captain America’s sequel with all its second half endless explosions – and while the script had its clunky moments from time-to-time and also felt too long, I did enjoy the movie overall — though felt puzzled at times and a bit annoyed, particularly because I actually waited past midnight with my spouse for the easter egg at the very end (and frankly, I love my sleep since I don’t get that much in general!)

Read those links above… if you dare…

If anyone had a chance to see this movie and had other thoughts on any of the above, feel free to post’ em! Till next time and happy writing!

 

 

 

Another poorly-grammatical update!

ImageHey folks, sorry to keep you all waiting, especially those of you who come back to check and keep up with me (thank you!). I am currently in the midst of finalizing and preparing my scripts to put out this year and with the combination of family responsibilities (non-stop guests and my two daughters on their break and bored), a new writer’s group I joined with wonderful writers I am excited about, along with my almost-one-year old Bichon-poo who I strongly suspect may have Pica (God, either that or he needs even more walking, he’s always chewing something – I have lost markers, glue sticks, underwear, stapler, you name it – oh wait! And an ink cartridge three days ago, his legs went all red and I had to scrub him!) it’s been one heck of a grind this month. Hopefully if all goes well, writing-wise, I would like to finally, after years and years of dreaming, whining, nail-biting and endless crumpled drafts,  put them in contests and things like every other screenwriter-hopeful on the planet.  

Are they ready now? I have two scripts that are getting there. This time, though, unlike previous times, I am trying to use all those contest deadlines to just get them over and done with… especially seeing and reading the amazing scripts that are being sold out there since, well God-knows when! It’s just time to let my babies go… or at least before someone else has the same idea and beats me to it (I think other writers here can relate to that one)!

Anyway, I am currently writing, waiting and compiling feedback to incorporate into those two scripts before I send them out! Hopefully I will return with something better than my updates soon. Till then, please pray for me or wish me luck, whichever! I hope you are all having a fruitful week!

If it behooves you, would love to know what the rest of you are up to.

What are you writing these days? 

How is your current writing going? 

After all, we share cyberspace together! Let me know!

A shower of ideas!

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As writers, one of the things we need to do that’s an essential part of being one is brainstorming concepts and what I keep hearing through the grapevine is: if you want to stay a writer, brainstorm a plethora of ideas. Constantly. 

As I have said in past posts, ages back, my quaint idea machine started with a single one but has since (thankfully) expanded. Our brains need mental workouts sometimes – in my case, honing certain habits, being DISCIPLINED (to an occasionally robotic extent that it extends to 3 AM in the morning where if I have an idea I am excited about, I can’t sleep)

Anyway, the point of this post is this: writing can happen at any place any time. For me, a lot of the time it happens when I hit the showers or I am driving – and I have gotten into the habit of writing down anything that inspires me. Even if it’s extremely random. Which is how I got this new concept last night… a new concept which was actually an old log line that I just wrote because I felt I had to write an idea down.. seemed like a dumb idea I was going to trash ten months ago but then I thought what the heck, keep it! It’s not adding anything to my hard drive space and then inspiration hit me today… like VOILA! And I revisited that old idea.

The same thing happened with another story. While we may never know how far success is in the cards for any of these, mind you, the point is – it turned into a good story I liked to write… and has cast a temporary smug satisfaction that comes with feeling good about something, even if it’s temporary.

So my somewhat profound or maybe-not-so-profound revelation : no idea is a bad idea without exploration. Of course there’s the oft chance it can turn into a bad one, but the point is ideas are ideas! Good or bad, they can come in handy.

The more you exercise your brain, the better you get… and the more you write and make it your life, the better you will feel doing it! So whatever fears, insecurities, doubts, harbingers, banshees affect your creativity, the best advice I ever got from someone is to put it aside and keep going – because you never know just how far it can take you and at the end of the day – your fantasies may just turn to reality… something I wish not only for myself but for all of you.