(c) 1998 by Robynn Clairday
All Rights Reserved -- Contact the author for reprint rights.
You can bookmark this page by clicking Control "D"
|It all started with a writers' conference. A young screenwriter/producer from an independent studio gave a rousing speech about how lucrative writing for the film industry was. And they were receptive to new talent, he added. At one point, I stood up and asked if it was possible to "sell" a manuscript as opposed to a script (since I'd never tried this format before).
He said yes, and I was off and running. What a surprise to find actual producers interested in reading my stuff. Marc Lorber of Phoenix Pictures (formerly of Hallmark Entertainment) was one of them. I'd found him in the industry bible, the Hollywood Creative Directory. An online free trial subscription is offered. "I had a Novel, NOT a Script"
|Initially, I emailed him my synopsis with a note attached letting him know I had a novel to submit (not a script); I also included my publishing credits. I simply wrote:
Dear Mr. Lorber, Would you be interested in reading my novel? I'm attaching my synopsis, etc..
Most producers want to read a one or two-page synopsis and/or a log-line, which is a two or three sentence summary of your script. The film industry is surprisingly accessible, if you approach them with courtesy and professionalism. I was surprised at how easy it was to simply call, fax or email a synopsis to them.
|It's also wise to be prepared to make your "pitch" on the phone. Sometimes, when you're asking development people for their fax number, they'll ask you to describe your script. Be ready and be brave!
Another thing that helps is to understand the industry rules; a writer should register her work with the Writer's Guild of America (to protect herself) and be ready to sign a release form (which protects the production company).
After reading my manuscript, Mr. Lorber emailed a critique back that was more than enlightening - - it was revolutionary! He then asked me to rewrite it as a script. He sort of liked my novel, which helped ignite his interest, but he was also a very nice person willing to reach out to someone new to his field. I tried to be as courteous as possible and exhibited a willingness to take criticism.
First, he discussed the motivation of my villain. In his eyes, she was at times erratic and inconsistent, even though her behavior made perfect sense to me. However, it certainly didn't to an "outsider". The light bulb went off.
While I'd spotted this problem in others' writing, I'd never noticed it in my own. My characters always seemed real to me, because I know them so intimately. But that doesn't mean a thing. They also have to come across as "real" and believable to readers and all other audiences.
Most of his comments related to characterization; I had to make them more solid, more clear. He asked for more "back story" and more of an understanding of who my main characters were and why they did what they did. My readers/viewers needed to see this. What motivates them? Why would they get involved in this plot and react the way they do? I knew the answers to these questions, but needed to show it more thoroughly through dialogue, action and setting.
|This made me see my other works in a new light. Instead of looking at my characters as a beloved "parent" would, I needed to eye them with the coldness and distance of a stranger. It was time to pull them out of the shadows and give them the dimension they deserved.
Mr. Lorber didn't buy my script, but he was encouraging and said I could submit my future works to him. My script was an improvement but not quite "there".
Three producers are now reviewing my revised screenplay!
I feel very strongly that persistence, a willingness to learn and a passion to succeed all contributed to my success. I know that Mr. Lorber's helpful critique has paid off munificiently -- and will continue to pay off in the future as well.
Robynn has a home page up - - "I have a new Writing Central page, which I'm adding to. I'm going to put up my favorite writing links, which will include Talewins. I'm also including a Tips from the Pros page (interviews with editors, agents, authors) and info on book packaging markets. I hope to help a lot of writers. If you'd like to contribute your tips to the Pros page, please let me know!"
Have an article you'd like published here?
E-Me your story,
or send it by snail to
Earl H. Roberts
Keep up with all our new articles and freebies.
Have some of your favorite ebooks quit working? Click HERE and let me GIVE you a secret that will: Fix Your Ebooks.
Travel the World, and get paid for it.
about Virus Dangers
There ARE ways to protect your computer!
Actually, we'll be publishing an entire series
on How to Guard, Protect and Rebuild your computer.
|Write Better||Learn the Basics||YOUR World|
Tips for writing better
Books for writers
apostrophes, a gentle introduction
Learn how to Hyphen-ate
Easy Research for writers
Big Screen writing
Proposals for Nonfiction
Free Plots to use
Ring in Writing Assignments
Writer's Showcase *
Using transition words
Abe Linkin Page *
Writing for Kids *
Protect Your Work *
Building web pages *
Are you feeling hopeless?
How to Avoid the High Cost of Conventional Promotions and Still Sell More Books.
Don't be Buried Alive!
Better Query Results can be YOURS!
Miniature Horses,, how would you rewrite this article?
Break Into Technical Writing. * Write a
better Query * humor for writers
* Free pictures you can
Policy * Get published
Information for Writers
* Click here to borrow all the money you need. * Be Your Own Banker * Promote Your Own Site
Copyright * Free humor
* Dealers Wanted
* postcards for
writers * Free
Software for writers * Practice
Makes Perfect * Learn to use
the new Talk and Type software. * Piggyback the
Hollidays for Free book publicity. * Create a bottomless notebook to spark new story
ideas any time you need them.
Using Description to Drag your readers into your story.
Break into a Food Writing Career.
The Secret of Success, according to Lucy Goosey.
Watch out for the Land Gurus
Just The Writer... when the movie makers take over the book, where does the writer go?
800 words and phrases that SELL!
|Hit it another lick
SPAM! * There
is only ONE WAY Sex will Sell on the web. * nonfiction
titles * fiction titles
* Free Report, Five Reasons To Check Your
Credit Report. * MY bookmarks.
* Simple Calculator for writers. Improve your web site's search engine ranking
* Add your site URL to my site
Make Money From
Add music to your site? Click HERE to see just how easy it can be, and for more information on a company you want to avoid.
Newsletters that flop, and what to do to avoid a similar fate.
Productivity begins by recognizing and valuing your brilliance, time, and space. It starts with awareness of what works and what does not. It continues with examining what needs grease, or other needs. Search for the truth for what you need in order to rev up your writing.
Copyright © 2005 by
Earl H. Roberts