Screenwriting : Quit by Rob Ricards

Rob Ricards


Perhaps I've given up on screenwriting. I have four scripts registered with the WGA and I've sent them around a bit and, for a time, was enamoured of InkTip. No longer - all piss and wind. Finding an agent - needle in a haystack time. I think, I'll quit and look after sheep.

Evan Marlowe

Produce and direct your own scripts. Anything else is nearly a pipe dream.

Mark Ratering

Quit the pressure on yourself and write for joy.

Pedro Chaves

agree with Mark on that. Send it around even more. Have people read it and if they say it's shit, don't be mad rewrite.

Mark Ratering

When I started in film it took 6-7 million for a film these kids are turning out beautiful stuff with digital no money.

Wayne Taylor

Sheep stink. Maybe your logline needs more work to garner interest. Perhaps your four scripts aren't ready or any good. Have they been reviewed by othrrs?

Rob Ricards

Great stuff guys, I'll write the guide book next.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hey Rob, you sound a little beaten down, cynical... writing a guide book now, really? Everyone here is just trying to help you man. :) So, DON'T GIVE UP!! Maybe what you need are fresh eyes on your material - a script consultant. As said by others on this thread... the folks at THE HAPPY WRITERS have a great reputation. I took a quick look at your two loglines posted here on your home page and I thought the premises were good but the loglines themselves needed a little help. I worked with a consultant and the experience was amazing. It changed my entire outlook on screenwriting. So much so, that my consultant is now my mentor -- I show her everything I write! Anyway, no more doom and gloom. Get up. Brush yourself off and get back to work. You got this!

Mark Ratering

Beth is a Fox listen to her!!!

Mark Souza

No one ever got better at anything by giving up. Only give up if it brings you no joy.

Cory Wess

Read The Alchemist, forsake your sheep and go to egypt. Your treasure is where your heart is.

Steven P Baer

Rob, I think you are making the right decision. Walk away. I wish I could, but my love for the craft of screenwriting won’t let me “go gentle into that good night.” Although I have had a screenplay produced (with a limited theatrical release), I am still making a living outside of the entertainment industry. I still cannot walk away from my writing. If you can, do it.

Don Thomas

Too much lottery mentality in the modern world. Too much constant media focus on the extreme rarity of the one in a million break. If you don't like the results you are getting, you can either give up or make substantial changes in the way you are going about trying to reach your goals. "There are many paths up Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit."

Tony McFadden

Fantastic. Less competition.

Tony McFadden

(like one less of the hundreds of thousands would make a difference.) Seriously though, I'm a huge proponent of the "if you ain't havin' fun, stop doing it" school of life.

Jim Duncan

Rob, I'd just say to really be sure of what you want. If your goal is to have a movie made, go the independent route and make your movie. If your goal is to be a paid screenwriter, keep at it with the realization that it takes a lot of thankless work to get there and most people don't get the one in a million big pay day. While if you're goal is to make money, become an investment banker, cause writing is a much harder road for that. And if you just want to create stories with words and have people appreciate your work, take some classes on prose fiction and start writing short stories or books you can easily get to actual end readers who will potentially enjoy. I think we can all get any dream we want in life, but you just can't get all of them. Best of luck.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Rob, ignore the "debbie downers." If you truly wanted to quit you wouldn't be here on Stage 32. And you would not have posted this thread. Clearly you are looking for encouragement. So, here it is again... DON'T QUIT. Hang in there. Take a break. Do whatever you need to do to get a fresh outlook on your writing -- hire a script consultant, join a writer's group. Whatever you need. You can do this. You owe it to yourself to try. Because at the end of the day, you are the one who has to live with your decision. I wish you the best. :)

Brian Wareham

Don't quit. I heard Mark Ruffalo auditioned over three hundred times before he got his first role. I, at times, feel the same way, but I don't. I just re-organize and try harder. Maybe I will not succeed, but stopping ends any chance of success.

Kenya Williams

I think as inspiring writers we all have days like this, and it's then that blessings flow...if....we strive on. I suggest not giving up, and bring your vision to the screen yourself, who can tell your story better than you, right? Be encouraged fellow writer and Stage32 member.

Lisa Clemens

If you have the passion for the job, you cannot quit. Even before I wrote screenplays I wrote stories for myself and others. I love fiction. The only thing I love more is movies. I tried turning my stories into scripts on a whim years ago but never knew who to pitch to or how until I met my friend and mentor. Stephen King is a writer who could retire if he wanted and even claimed he would after his accident. He hasn't. Because he can't. A writer writes. If the passion is not there, then it's time to stop. I can't imagine doing anything but telling stories in some form or another.

Mark Souza

What Stanley and Cal said.

Dustin Bowcott

I write because I enjoy it. If you're writing just to sell scripts then maybe you should quit.

Scott Luper

I have to agree with Stephen, Tony, and Dustin. If you can walk away, do it. Hemingway said you have to write a million words before you become a writer. Don't worry about selling. Focus on writing more and writing better.

Tabitha Baumander

more room for those of us who can't quit

Lisa Clemens

@ Dan I have to laugh when people think they can become "famous" as just a screenwriter. My friends always say, "Will you remember us when you're famous?" and I always ask them to name two screenwriters who are not actors or directors. This usually results in blank stares from the casual movie viewer. So even if you are selling screenplays, it's rare that you'll be famous IMHO. I am just happy to be combining my two great loves- writing and films!

Mark Ratering

I love the film "Moneyball" it showed the GM of the team doing things to make a winning team. Not the baseball Stars..... not the coach the GM. We film-makers know who wrote "Citizen Kane" and "It's A Wonderful Life". Anyway fame is quiet for the writer....that's OK.... I'm not crying...I'M NOT CRYING

Beth Fox Heisinger

Geez guys. What color is the sky in your world? :)

Dustin Bowcott

I took a look at 'Fin'... it does need some work. If you're really set on being a writer then you have to be in it for the long haul. I'd suggest joining a forum where you can gather critiques on your work from other writers. Not usually the best idea, but when you're fairly green then they are an excellent resource. Don't expect them to be kind, they're not critiquing to tell you how good your story is. Often they are just looking for errors and some of them will love to point them out to you. You should also be prepared to critique other people's work. Indeed, do that first. Only then will you get any reviews back. Of course though there is always the noob factor. There will be some writers just waiting to pounce and crush a new writer's dreams. You have to go through it though. You will learn from it, no matter how much it hurts to do so at the time.

Michael Hager

interesting thread. I failed recently (ahem pitches cough) but I'm taking it as a learning experience and moving on. What else do you do? You move on. Analogy: my daughter scored her first goal last Saturday. She's not the fastest, nor does she have the best kick on her team; she was simply in the right place at the right time. The ball bounced her way and she put it in, because she put herself in the right spot. I'm hoping to do the same thing, through hard work and a lot of damn everyday m-effing persistence.

Wayne Taylor

I agree with Dustin, looking at your scripts posted here I think you head over to talentville and have them reviewed. It would only help you become a better writer.

Lina Jones

Don't give up on what you truly enjoy doing... maybe it is classes that you need and if you've already had them they obviously was not the right ones for you. Try, try again and get prepared for your best work ever remember none of us are perfect. Good Luck to you :D

Brian Flinchbaugh

Rob, I'm not going to tell you not to quit. I'll tell you to ask yourself "Do I enjoy writing?" If the answer is no, then my all means, give it up. If the answer is yes, then stick with it. If it's what you love, do it regardless of whether you get a paycheck.

Theresa Clark

I agree with Brian. Do what you love first. However, if things seem to not pan out the way you want it, start your own productions. Easier said than done, but take that journey step by step.

Shawn Goth

If your really serious about selling your screen play hit me up and I'll tell you no bullshit what needs to be done. All not mentioned here on other peoples comments. As well if you want me to look at it I will.

Mark Ratering

Let's get it straight maybe...maybe ..everything is perfect... but there's a lot more to it then that

Dustin Bowcott

My approach is start small and work my way up. I'm not even thinking of Hollywood right now... although I have written a script for Hollywood it is a massive budget of probably 100million. So I'm guessing I'm not going to have an easy time with that one. Plus I'm not sure that it is quite right yet. I just don't have the time for it. I have to stick to my more realistic options. My main priority right now is to get a few films made in my own country and build my rep from there. Just heard that a couple of my spec's are being pitched to ITV, so I've got quite a few people believing in me and my work now. It's building. It's a slow process. I suppose you have to believe in yourself. Personally, I think I'm one of the greatest screenwriters on the planet. I honestly believe I deserve to be up there with the greatest. I am prepared to work for it though. I know that may come across as being arrogant... and I suppose there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence.

Lisa Clemens

I totally agree Dan. If I didn't have a friend/mentor who is already established in the film industry, I'd have a very hard time getting in, myself. I always thought I'd write fiction. I have always written SOMETHING. I just LOVE WRITING! I was lucky enough to meet Andy Cheng when I interviewed him, developed a friendship over several years and then he asked me to try rewriting one of his scripts. Yes people do get read without a foot in the door, but I was given an opportunity and jumped in with both feet and now I never want to do anything else!

Emmanuel Ilemobayo


Mark Ratering

When I started late 70's there was TV and Features..... now you can produce a film with 50 bucks.... you have the net and film festivals...there were 3. In some ways it's a million times easier... and writing.... no programs hard as hell.

Päivi Holländer

Maybe it's about finding again your passion for storytelling? I'm a beginner and I just love making them, not really matter if anyone sees them. Writing is a life sentence.. Better learn to love it! :)

Thomas Bailey

... and there is your next script, the writer who gave up on writing because it fucked him. Can't get much more personal than that.

Mark Ratering

I love to think about the old painters that had to borrow money from their fanily of sweep floors to paint. Artists are given a gift but yes also a curse

David Glenn Misner

I am with Evan. Write and produce your own films. That is what I am doing

Shawn Goth

Start with a short - anything between 5-25 pages. Try to get directors to make it. Or offer to write something specifically for a director or producer. You will slowly learn the craft while building your reputation. And shorts don't suck the life out of you. In theory you could have 5 to 10 shorts in production with all different directors at the same time. Thats HOT. You ought to have read at least 20 books on how to write and sell a screenplay. Also it wouldn't kill you to sign up to be a movie extra or production assistant. That gets you on set meeting people who can actually do something About your screenplay. Good luck. ; )

Diane Knaus

Jim, Don't give up, ever. You just haven't met the right people to help you out as yet. What type of writing have you done in those 4 projects, genre?

William Martell

The average screenwriter didn't make a cent before writing 9 full length scripts (and rewriting them). So at 4, you're quitting before you are even halfway there.

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