by Shelt Garner
My entire creative life has become consumed by the novel I’m developing and writing. And, yet, as my storytelling abilities have improved, I find myself mulling the idea of doing something with a screenplay.
The only reason why I do so is now that have the self-confidence necessary to actually maybe pull off writing a novel, I think about how fun it would be to have a second creative “track” involving a screenplay. Now that I know in general how to pull off a plot, I find myself thinking about telling a very simple, straightforward story in the guise of a screenplay.
I have at least a dozen decent movie concepts floating around in my head. To date, I haven’t done anything with them because I felt I needed a collaborator of some sort. But now after having developed a novel for two years, I’m beginning to believe I can write a screenplay without any help. One thing I really want to do is tell a very simple story.
It seems to me that just like The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson was my “textbook” for the novel I’m working on that the screenplay to Star Wars should be the textbook for any screenplay I write as a first effort. I’m not much for spending a decade working on anything. I simply don’t feel I have the time at this point in my life. Whatever I do, I’m going to need to develop and write quickly.
It seems to me that I should stay primarily focused on the novel because of my age. Not a lot of middle-aged dudes come out of nowhere to sell a script in Hollywood. What’s more, I don’t even live anywhere near Hollywood. So, I’d have to finish a script then fly cross country to Los Angeles and hit the pavement in hopes of running into someone who might be able to help me. Now, I am notorious for finding myself chatting up “famous” people, so I’m willing to deluded myself enough to try to pull that off.
It would be fun to have the occasional adventure in LA, with a finished script in my hand, looking for someone to pitch it to. I’m an extreme extrovert and I love to shmoose and go to parties and have interesting conversations. That’s a pretty big portion of work in Hollywood, it seems to me. But, like I said, I’m kinda old.
I think, for the time being, what I might do is simply every once in awhile give myself a few hours each week to do some serious development on this one screenplay concept I have. I like to think of it is as a “scifi Network,” in the sense that it would deal with a lot of macro political and sociological concepts but in a gauzy, entertaining fashion that would be set in the “future.” The point of the screenplay would be, much like the novel I’m working on, to give me an outlet for my white hot rage against the Trump Administration.
But I am no where near even beginning to develop any screenplay. I’m going to stay focused on the novel for the time being. Maybe once I finish the first draft of the novel I will turn around and by FinalDraft so I can start seriously thinking about writing something.