Lessons From My First Screenplay

Two years ago the seeds of a story plopped down into my head during a long car trip. I busted out my bluetooth keyboard in the backseat of the car and started typing away. I read my first two pages out loud my wife in the car and she asked what happens next? I said I hadn’t written it yet.

Before I went any further, I wanted to make sure I had a strong outline. I started developing the world of my story, figuring out the characters, and plotting the events leading up to the climax. And then, feeling overwhelmed with the project I left it on the shelf. I went back it on occasion and jotted down additional notes or tweaked several details, but I pretty much left it at that. An interesting idea.

Then a few months ago I started the Story Punch podcast. I started getting some great complements on it. A few people told me how much they enjoyed it and how they appreciated my approach to storytelling.

And then I started to feel guilty. I hadn’t actually written any stories. Sure, I analyzed and reviewed a bunch of movies on my blog and my podcast,  but what did I actually write?

Turns out, not much. I told a few life stories to introduce a few episodes. I shared plenty of anecdotes during meetings and public speaking engagements. I had an eye for story, but not an actual story I could call my own.

So I sat down and I wrote one. I bought a screenwriting bible. I read a few professional scripts. And I poured myself into telling one complete feature-length story.

And wow did I learn a lot from the experience. You can hear everything I learned from writing my first screenplay on Episode 14. I hope you’ll give it a listen!



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