In this episode, I discuss (and answer) the eight most common screenwriting questions posted in the Facebook screenwriting group. They also happen to be the most common screenwriting questions asked just about anywhere.
- What is the best screenwriting software?
- Should I copyright my screenplay, or is WGA registration enough?
- What screenwriting contests should I enter?
- What screenwriting books should I read?
- How do I bind a hard copy script?
- Should I get a screenwriting degree?
- Where can I find screenplays online?
- I’ve written a screenplay; now what?
But first, some riffs on the message and mission of Anywhere But Hollywood – the podcast, the community, the blog.
And here, as cited in the podcast, is the “cricket bat” speech from Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing:
HENRY: Shut up and listen. This thing here, which looks like a wooden club, is actually several pieces of particular wood cunningly put together in a certain way so that the whole thing is sprung, like a dance floor. It’s for hitting cricket balls with. If you get it right, the cricket ball will travel two hundred yards in four seconds, and all you’ve done is give it a knock like knocking the top off a bottle of stout, and it makes a noise like a trout taking a fly . . .
(He clucks his tongue to make the noise.)
What we’re trying to do is to write cricket bats, so that when we throw up an idea and give it a little knock, it might . . . travel . . .
(He clcks his tongue again and picks up the script.)
Now what we’ve got here is a lump of wood of roughly the same shape trying to be a cricket bat, and if you hit a ball with it, the ball will travel about ten feet and you will drop the bat and dance about shouting ‘Ouch!’ with your hands stuck into your armpits.
(Indicating the cricket bat.)
This isn’t better because someone says it’s better, or because there’s a conspiracy by the MCC to keep cudgels out of Lords. It’s better because it’s better. You don’t believe me, so I suggest you go out to bat with this and see how you get on.
(From the script.)
‘You’re a strange boy, Billy, how old are you?’ ‘Twenty, but I’ve lived more than you’ll ever live.’ Ooh, ouch!
(He drops the script and hops about with his hands in his armpits, going ‘Ouch!’ ANNIE watches him expressionlessly until he desists.)
Resources discussed in this episode:
- Facebook Screenwriting Group
- Nicholl Fellowship
- Drew’s Script-o-rama
- WGA Registry
- The Essentials of Screenwriting by Richard Walter
- Making a Good Script Great by Linda Seger
- Final Draft
- Writer Duet (click here for $10 off – expires 1/30/2015)
- Writer Duet’s free conversion utility