Screenwriting Tips for Submission Season

HelpfulTipsLast week I shared a list of the 10 prominent screenwriting contests and their approaching deadlines to give you a heads up of what to expect the next few months.  Hopefully, you’re not like me, in the middle of a major rewrite instead of just a polish.

Ah, the sweet agony of a deadline.

This week I thought I would share a few tips on how to be best prepared to submit.  I’m not sure where I originally found this checklist – my apologies to whoever created it.  It’s a list of 10 things to look over/be aware of before you hit send.

  1. Opening image
  2. Opening line
  3. First scene’s setting
  4. Genre/Tone
  5. Character roles
  6. Character motivations
  7. Structure
  8. Scene focus
  9. Spelling/Grammar
  10. Concept/Logline

*If you’re interested, I can expand on each of these in more detail.  Just let me know in the comments below.

One of my favorite pieces of advice came from Good in a Room‘s Stephanie Palmer who suggests –

Choose a contest and a deadline. Then, submit at least one script to one of the top screenwriting contests I recommend.

If the script gets recognized in any way (i.e., it doesn’t win but it makes the second round, or top 10%, etc), revise it and submit to three different contests.

If the script doesn’t get recognized, then keep it in your library of projects, pick something new from your development slate, and write something else.

Instead of submitting multiple projects to several contests (which can get expensive), you only make multiple submissions when you have objective evidence that your work is good enough to have a chance to win, and you spend more of your valuable time writing new material.

That’s plenty of work, I know.

And it doesn’t take into account the other aspects of how to be a professional writer that have nothing to do with writing…

But over time, if you write and submit at least one script every year to one of the best contests, you will get better and your material will get better. If you submit multiple scripts only when they have received positive feedback, your chances of being successful go up.

I hope you find this helpful, and I wish you all the best this submission season!

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Writing Prompt #100

On Wednesdays, I like to share images or phrases that hopefully inspire you to create something new or, by some chance, add to a work of yours in progress.  Sometimes I look for something that speaks to me in regards to what I’m working on, but the purpose of the the prompts are to help us break from routine.

I write flash fiction pieces from them, but my Dragon Age fanfiction “problem” began with a writing prompt as well, so be forewarned that I take no responsibility for what path these may lead you on. 😉  Create at your own risk.

magicball

Happy Writing!

 

Quote Monday

It’s time to get back to routine, and as most of you probably remember, I used to enjoy my routine.  It’s a bit of a vague memory at the moment. 😉

On Mondays I like to share inspiring quotes – something to start the week off right.  I like this one:

situationelevation

Keep working towards your dreams!

A Couple of Thoughts On This Week

A couple of days ago I awoke to the news of Carrie Fisher’s passing.  Another beloved icon gone too soon – and you know in this Star Wars house this was a deep-felt loss.  And then, as if to add insult to injury, my email contained a message that my pilot would not be advancing in one of the contests I had submitted it to.

The feedback was, at least, somewhat encouraging:

The Demeter is set in an interesting world with a couple of well-drawn characters in Wyeth and Sadie. Actually, the voice of Zeta as a less obnoxious Siri is also a nice character. On the page, the script looks good, without blocky description or dialogue passages and is error-free (a rarity!). The biggest question at this point is probably trying to determine what the story will be about in future episodes. Will the entire series be about their attempt to return to earth? Some hint of where the series will go could add a lot to the overall value of the pilot.

It was one of those days that made me want to both crawl into bed and take the world by storm.

I did neither.

I chose to lose myself in my happy place – Dragon Age land.  A few hours achieving measurable goals with my dogs snuggled around me was comforting, but I’m still just sad.

Maybe the sadness is exacerbated by the fact that I am so far from where I want to be.  I resent my job and without just the teeniest bit of encouragement on the screenwriting front, I just feel as if I’m never going to leave my own mark.

Yes, I know this sounds a tad vain, but it’s my dream to have my writing immortalized via the silver screen.  Let’s be honest, we don’t follow the artist’s path to fade into obscurity, we want to be remembered.  Plain and simple.

The passing of yet another childhood favorite has only reiterated how precious our time is.  We have to make the most of the time given to us and continue to strive towards our goals, no matter where on the ladder towards that dream we find ourselves.

feel-good-2

Wishing you all the very best as we come to the end of another year!  Let’s start planning for a productive and successful new year!

*Thank you for being a part of our lives, Rebel Princess.  May the Force be with you!

Writing Prompt #99

So a few days ago, I (finally) shared the work of fellow bloggers who took up the Writing Prompt Challenge.  If you haven’t had a chance to read them yet, click here.

For this week’s Writing Prompt, I was drawn to this image.

ceremony

Are you inspired?

Come write with me!

Writing Prompt #97 – For a Special Occasion

Today one of my dearest friends is getting married.  In honor of her, and the happily ever after she has found (and deserves), I dedicate today’s Writing Prompt to her, my Jillybean.

aurora

We’re never too old for fairytales.

Love, Rachie xoxo

Writing Prompt #96

I know, I know, I keep saying it, but I still haven’t done it…I am going to write some flash fiction!  I swear!  😉  Besides, I have a fellow blogger’s amazing work to share as well.  I can’t let that go unnoticed.

Wanna join me in this week’s Writing Prompt Challenge?

terribleidea

I look forward to reading your creations!  Happy Writing!

Writing Prompt #95

I’ve been a bad blogger…relying on easy posts, like this one. 😉

I finished the recent chapter of Dragon Age fanfic I was working on, so now maybe I can move onto something else.  I have lots of things pending, so it would be good if I could get that out of my system, at least for the time being.

Perhaps I could try writing a few flash fiction pieces?  Let’s give that a try.  Wanna join me?

shallwe

Happy Writing!

Quote Monday

I’ve been in a state of avoidance.  Finding consolation in escapism.  And the only person that affects, the only person that suffers, is me.

I don’t know why exactly either.  Actually, I have a couple of theories.  Regardless, it’s about doing what you can with what you have in the hopes that you can keep moving forward.

2Choices.jpg

Here’s to starting off the new week on the right track!  Wishing you all the best!

 

Writing Prompt #94

It’s Friday again?!  My life is flashing by…gracious, I better start making better use of my down time!

I honestly planned on posting this Wednesday, when I was supposed to, but it was the first day in nearly two weeks I had the house all to myself, so you can imagine what I did.  Yep, I gamed, for like six hours, and I do not feel guilty about it, except now that I realize it’s Friday…again.

Sheesh.

I saw this week’s image and knew right away it was the one I wanted to share with you.  I was drawn to it immediately.

girlintherain

How about you?  Feeling inspired?

Happy Writing!