Screenwriting : Starting my first ORIGINAL screenplay tomorrow by Joseph Rhea

Joseph Rhea

Starting my first ORIGINAL screenplay tomorrow

So far I have only been brave enough to write a feature and a limited series pilot adapted from my own books. Tomorrow I am starting an ORIGINAL feature screenplay that I have been outlining for the past few months. It feels oddly liberating to be creating something completely from scratch. 

Dan MaxXx

But you did start from scratch writing books? Ideas finished with execution (writing craft).

Maurice Vaughan

Have a great time writing your first original script, Joseph Rhea! Keep us posted about it.

Geoff Hall

Joseph Rhea Yes, it’s so liberating to start writing a screenplay from scratch, and not tied in to a previous concept. I wish you well in this new adventure.

Alicia Vaughan

Hi Joseph. All the best to writing your original feature tomorrow. It really does feel amazing when starting a new project.

Xenia Alter

I start from scratch this week with a thriller. There is not even a log line yet, I will be looking for ideas. So good luck for both of us

Jim Boston

Joseph, all the VERY BEST to you on your first original screenplay!

Joseph Rhea

Thank you all for the words of encouragement. So, 3 hours in and I have 9 pages finished so far. Since I'm aiming for 90 that means I'm 10% finished already. What? Obviously I have a LOT in my head that I'm finally putting on paper, and I know most people don't write this fast, but it feels great to be writing again.

Best to all!

Joseph Rhea

Final update for my first day of writing this: I managed 4 hours of writing (interspersed with doing laundry, playing with my border collie, and helping my teenage son with calculus) and I created 11 script pages, taking me right up to my "Hero's Refusal of the Call" at the ideal 12% mark. Yes, I sound a bit fastidious, but I had a good day.



Michael Elliott

11 pages is good output. Best I've done, cumulatively, I wrote my most recent screenplay starting Feb 23 concluding today. I don't think I could ever be fastidious. I don't do outlines, beat sheets, etc. When the idea finally jells in my brain, I start writing. Good luck. We all need it.

David Abrookin

Keep at it, Joseph Rhea! If you carve out time every day, you'll have your first draft in no time!

Joseph Rhea

Hope nobody minds me updating my progress here on my thread. Yesterday I wrote 12 more pages, which puts me at 23 pages out of a planned 90ish. What's possibly unusual is that after writing the opening scenes a few days ago, what I wrote last night was the climactic scenes. So, basically I've completed the beginning and the end, and all that's left is the middle. The reason is because I've always known how this story would begin and end, since it was the backstory I outlined long ago for my book series. The middle is much less defined, so I'm sure it will go much more more slowly.

Thanks for reading, and any suggestions about making "middles" more interesting would be most welcome.

Maurice Vaughan

You're welcome, Joseph Rhea. 11 pages in 4 hours is impressive! Congratulations on getting 23 pages done! You're on a roll!

Adam J Fernandes

It is very liberating and very addicting, in the best way possible. Good luck and congrats on all the work so far! :)

Joseph Rhea

3/25 Update: spent a couple of hours working on the script and when I finished, I was confused that my page count hadn't increased. ☹

Then I remembered that, besides writing a new scene, I removed all of my original, and apparently unnecessary, CUT TO: transitions between scenes, and simplified several action and dialogue blocks, which explains it. "Better words, not more words" is my new mantra, apparently.

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Maurice Vaughan

"Better words, not more words." I should get that on a shirt, Joseph Rhea. :D

Congratulations on the progress! Even though the page count didn't go up, it's still progress because you made the script better by removing unnecessary stuff and simplifying action and dialogue blocks.

Bill Albert

Good luck. Just remember writing it is the easy part, selling it is where it gets hard.

Tim Bragg

I look forward to reading it when it is done.

Joseph Rhea

Bill, fortunately I write for the "art" of it and have no belief it will ever sell. Not that I would turn down an offer, mind you, but I really just have a need to create stuff. It's a personal thing.

Tim Bragg

LOL. Bill, that is so true, sometimes I think it is easier to write the story.

Tim Bragg

Xenia, the log line happens when the story is almost complete and you have the four elements to make the log line.

Joseph Rhea

Thanks, Tim. I will post it on Coverfly when I finish it. I already have a feature and a limited series pilot there.

Geoff Hall

Joseph Rhea Hi Joseph, I think that’s how Maurice and I work on a script. We edit it as we go along. The flow and pacing concern me more that the page count.

Joseph Rhea

Geoff, I don't really think of it as editing because I write very organically, or "seat of the pants" while following a detailed outline to make sure I am getting the beats in the right places,. With this method, if I see something I previously wrote that could be better, I need to fix it before moving on. I did this in my previous novels and it worked pretty well for me.

I'm writing again this afternoon and during a 2-day work trip to New Orleans this week, so hopefully I will dive into the new scenes then. BTW, I'm a full-time scientist and finding time to write is a real challenge, but I'm excited by this particular story so I'm making it happen.

Michael Elliott

So, does your science background influence your writing? I would think that would open an entire category of topics.

Michael Elliott

Since you mentioned Coverfly, I'm going to indulge in a little self promotion (aka bragging). My script "Nobody's Heroes" now is in the Top 1% of all scripts in its database.

Maurice Vaughan

Yup, Geoff Hall. That's how I write. I edit as I go. By time I'm finished with the first draft, it's like the fifth draft. Have a safe trip.

Joseph Rhea

Michael, congratulations on your Coverfly ranking. That's huge! I'm happy just to have a top 25% ranking for my first feature screenplay.

Regarding my science background influencing my writing, my "dystopian undersea" book series, Novum, was inspired by spending months at sea on research ships, and the "family" bonds that grow between crewmates when isolated from the rest of humanity (especially before the internet). In fact, the feature I'm writing now is the prequel "origin" story for that series.

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