I Finished My Screenplay!

This morning I typed THE END on a project called The Following. It’s an adaptation of my short story “The Weekend,” and I absolutely love it.

Of course, it’s a first draft. I’m about to dive in and find a million things I hate about it.

But right now, I feel satisfied in knowing that I finished. I wrote a feature screenplay.

Reflection on the Process

  • I began the journey of adapting “The Weekend” into The Following on April 17 when I wrote a rough draft treatment of the story I wanted to tell. I then posted about it on Medium and requested some readers to give me feedback.
  • Several people offered some invaluable feedback and I wrote a much more extensive second draft of the treatment, which was really a scene-by-scene outline, and invited further feedback.
  • I finally made some minor changes on a third draft, and began writing the script on May 2.
  • It’s May 19, a little over a month from when I started, and I’m finished with the first draft of my script.

Why It Worked

This wasn’t my first script to write. I’ve ghostwritten six scripts over the past three years. But this was the first script that’s all me. I’m a high school English teacher and freelance writer, and I’m married with three children, so I have to use my time wisely.

I wanted a process that was going to help me write a script in a short amount of time that might actually have potential.

Outlining the story beforehand and getting feedback before I fleshed the outline out into a script was the best decision I could make.

The script follows the outline pretty closely, but there are deviations. I had a lot of fun with the flexibility of fleshing out an outline. The end changed significantly when I got to it, but I’m happy with how it turned out.

The Journey from Here

I’ve selected ten people from a wide range of backgrounds to read my rough draft and give me some feedback. After I get all of their notes back, it’s time to dive into revisions.

Then, Hollywood starts calling… Maybe not. But I do plan to send the final draft out to some agents when I finish. So wish me luck.

Thank you for reading about my screenwriting journey. I’d love for you to check out some of my fiction pieces by clicking below.

Tom Farr is a writer, teacher, and storyteller who believes in crafting lies to tell the truth. When he’s not enjoying the good life with his beautiful wife Lindsey and their three much-adored children, he’s striving to create stories that thrill and inspire and preparing for the day Disney calls him to write a Star Wars movie. He’s also a contributing editor for Made Up Words. His work has also appeared on Panel & Frame, Wordhaus, Curiosity Never Killed the Writer, and The Unsplash Book. Check out his fiction writing portfolio on Medium and sign up for his author newsletter.

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