Charlotte gets her first client.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Seymour Petit.  He’s in trouble and hopes No Names Investigations can help. Let me know what you think:

“Oh, my goodness gracious me.  I never thought it would come to this. Never in a million years would I think it.  You ladies must help me, you simply must!”

Seymour Petit is a man small in stature.  His body appears to be as weak as his voice. He could be our very first bona fide client, so Beth and I hang on every soft-spoken word as he tells us about his troubles between bites on his fingernails. I write down notes so nothing will be missed.

Beth is sitting behind her desk while I reach over and pat his hand for reassurance. He rocks back and forth in his seat.  “We’re going to do our very best Mr. Petit.  Please tell us how we can be of service.”

He eases up on his rocking and nail-biting. “First, you must understand that what I’m about to tell you is strictly confidential.”

Beth and I nod our agreement and he continues.  “My wife Gladys has been missing for two weeks and I’ve just got to find her.” Continue reading Charlotte gets her first client.

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Notes on “Your Screenplay Sucks”

On July 9th I attended a screenwriting seminar called “Your Screenplay Sucks” at the WHRO public television studio.  Mr. Will Akers was the instructor. It was HIGHLY educational!

I know I will be referencing my notes from this seminar in the future but I wanted to share a couple of big takeaways:

  1. You DO NOT need to have your personal statement of “Why am I telling this story?” in your head when you start writing. In fact, you may be in the middle of your 300-page novel when it comes to you. In the meantime, just write and re-write.
  2. In novels, exposition is to be minimised and despised. Convert everything you can to dialogue. Dialogue is good. Meanwhile, in screenplays, dialogue is to be minimised and despised. Have only what is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for the story.

These two takeaways are not hard and fast rules that Mr. Akers taught.  They are what I personally took away from the seminar based on what he said.  I have spoken with other writers who disagree with #2.  Feel free to give your opinion.

Okay, one bonus takeaway. The seminar inspired me to produce a movie. “Make a movie you can afford.” is what Mr. Akers said so I am going to make a 7 to 10 min short. I will post again as I work on the screenplay.

Charlotte II Chapter One Re-write

Hey, everyone!

I’m about three posts behind but I’ll get you all caught up. First, another taste of Charlotte II Chapter One after another re-write .  The next post will be a review of the screenwriting seminar I attended recently. Enjoy and feel free to comment!

CHAPTER ONE: Charlotte Harding walks into a bar…

If Beth and I can get our hands on Reginald Jackson, all of our money problems will be over.  But getting our hands on him has proven difficult.  Hell, Reginald Jackson isn’t even his real name.  I guess it’s the best he could come up with once he found out there’s a bounty on his head.

Beth and I are sitting in a rented Jeep Cherokee, passing time in what must be the muddiest part of Alaska.  We’re keeping an eye on a bar called The Mountain Pass.  As a reminder of our past week pursuing Reg, Freddie Fender’s latest hit, Wasted Days and Wasted Nights, keeps us company on the radio. There’s a good chance Reginald will show; we hear he comes by often.  From our spot beyond the tree line, we use our binoculars to see the face of every guy that walks in and out.  It’s only 9:00 pm so there are a couple of hours of daylight left.  There’s plenty of time to wait, but Beth is getting impatient. “One of us should go inside and check the place out.”

I respond while looking through the binoculars. “There’s no need for that.  If one of us walks in he may see us before we see him.  I don’t want to lose him again like we did in Chicago.”

“He may not even be here. For all we know he’s skipped Alaska, but someone in there might be able to tell us what we want to know.”

We’ve been sitting for three hours with nothing to show for it.  I’m starting to get a little impatient myself.  “Okay, but I’ll be the one to go in; you create too much of a ruckus.”

“Whatever you say Sugar.” Continue reading Charlotte II Chapter One Re-write