Writing Hope for the Holidays

on November 24, 2014 in Misc

You know what’s kinda incredible?  I might have a better chance at selling a screenplay than I do a novel.

As y’all know, I’ve recently become very discouraged about simply getting an agent.  What doesn’t help us novelists is that far more people than ever are writing books, so agents and publishers are overwhelmed with submissions.

old movie set

Yet the possibility of selling a screenplay is supposed to be far tougher, especially for feature films—the odds are about 50,000 to one. It can even be extremely tough selling a made-for-TV screenplay for, say, the WE or SciFi channels (home of such film classics as Sharknado and Big Ass Spider).

So it’s really kinda wild when I found out that the odds of selling a screenplay are now tilted ever so slightly in my favor.  Say, only 10,000 to one.  You know why?

Because I know someone who knows a couple people in “the business” and he said he’d be happy to pass on my screenplay to them.


Okay, sure, I still have to write the freaking thing.  I had only completed the first 15 minutes when I set it aside because I was too busy, too discouraged, and too much of a realist to think there was a chance in hell of selling it.  But the facts are these:

  1. If I finish my screenplay and it’s very good, someone who matters might read it.

  2. Since the story is set in Ireland, I can submit it to the Irish Film Commission and they might send it on to producers.

  3. I just plain love the story and want to write it.

irish sheep

So there you have it: a little bit of encouragement!  It’s kinda nice to head into the holidays with a faint glimmer of hope.

May all of you have a fantastic and happy Thanksgiving.  Please let me know how your own writing plans are for the upcoming holidays—I wish you the greatest of success.

10 Responses to “Writing Hope for the Holidays”

  1. You have a connection – that’s awesome! Polish that sucker and don’t miss that opportunity.

  2. Helena says:

    Alex – I will polish like a maniac. Thanks!

  3. Hart Johnson says:

    Oh, this is AWESOME! I’d LOVE to turn A Shot in the Light into a mini-series–like 10 episodes, but I have NO CLUE how. So I’d LOVE it if you’d blog some on process–how writing these is different from writing books. I wish you the very best luck with it!

  4. Helena says:

    Hart – Thanks, and A Shot in the Light would make such an exciting miniseries! When I’m deeper into the screenwriting process (I’m SO scattered right now ’cause of the holidays and too much on my plate), then maybe I could blog about novel vs. screenplay.

  5. Go for it, girlfriend! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving :)

  6. You just plain love it and want to write it — that’s the stuff, Helena! I asked myself earlier this week if I would keep writing if nobody ever read my work. The answer: a resounding YES. That’s how I started out, and that’s how I’ll go to my grave, if the Good Lord wills it. No worries. Enjoy yourself.

  7. I am so happy for you! Any edge can be just that little bit that wins the day. I will pray that all works out. I bought a book on screenplay writing that used the script of CASABLANCA as a teaching tool just because I thought the concept was so neat.

    Wouldn’t it be a grand Christmas present for you to sell a screenplay after struggling for so long? Here’s wishing you the best of fortune!

  8. Helena says:

    Carol – It was so great I’m only now getting back to you. Hope yours was the best.

  9. Helena says:

    Milo – I enjoy your stories, so I know you enjoy writing them. May you write always!

  10. Helena says:

    Roland – More like a Valentine Day present, at the rate I’m writing it. I LOVE Casablanca! What a great script that has it all–an exciting plot, vivid characters, and dialogue that’s become immortal. I can see how movies influence your own stories, Roland.