I’m Writing a Screenplay

…and this is how I’m doing it.

It won’t be my first. I’ve spent the last three years ghostwriting screenplays, which has been valuable practice. But now I want to write my own spec script, something with my own name attached to it. I’ve wanted to be a screenwriter ever since watching Scream when I was in junior high, though my taste in movies has changed since that time.

The Challenge of Writing a Film Story

The difficult thing about writing a screenplay is that a script isn’t a story. It’s a way of executing a story. Novels are another way of executing a story. The execution of the same story will be different if you’re writing a movie than if you’re writing a novel.

Put another way, screenplays don’t make revising entire story structural issues very easy. Screenwriters save a lot of time by having the story figured out before committing it to script form.

How You Can Help

So I’ve written what is called a treatment. A treatment is a film story told in short story form, all in present tense. It gives an overall view of the story from beginning to end, focusing on the key events that will take place in the film version of the story.

A treatment, as its aptly called, is a way to “treat” a story before scripting it, and I hope to use it to refine my story and make it better before I write a screenplay from it.

I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of people read my stories here on Medium, and I’m grateful. I didn’t want to post the treatment because the screenplay I write from it is something that I hope to sell some day, but I invited anyone who has enjoyed any of my fiction work here on Medium and has an eye for what makes a story compelling to read through my treatment and leave any constructive notes they might have. The feedback I received was exactly what I was looking for and confirmed several things that I suspected needed more attention.

Update: As of Friday, April 22, I’m no longer sending out the first draft of my treatment, but stay tuned for another call to read and comment on my second draft.

The story is a supernatural thriller about a married couple who suffers the tragedy of their child being kidnapped. It’s adapted from a short story I wrote last year.

Tom Farr is a writer, teacher, and storyteller. He loves creating and spending time with his wife and three children. Check out his fiction writing portfolio on Medium and sign up for his author newsletter.

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