• ronaldtownsen

#6 Diving into Movie Screen Plays


After releasing my first book, I began to receive comments from readers that “Watcher in the Fall: Connections” would make a great movie. By the summer of 2012, I began to think about pushing into a development of a screenplay, but it was not anything I had done before.

I received an email from a couple late in the summer of 2012. They are involved in Hollywood and offered to convert my book into a movie screen play. The result arrived in the fall of 2012 “Master Connections”. While an expensive operation, I learned a lot about the specifics of what they are looking for (page count, format, story approach, … ).

I was told the book was too “dense” and as such only part of the plot line was used. It also helped me in understanding more about conversation.

The screen play was submitted to a couple of screen play contests and while not winning did receive “Finalist”. I began thinking about writing other screen plays and started with using my short stories.

The interesting short story of Leonardo da Vinci became a fascination for me. Working that as a screen play was fun, but I decided the scifi part of story didn’t really add anything to story, so I converted it to just Historical Fiction. Where I did some research for the short story, I needed to do additional research to better flush out the interaction between the Church, Mafia from Palermo and Leonardo.

The next screen play I tackled became “Universe’s End”. Again derived from my short story “The Trader Jserex”. The play change the focus of the story from the alien trader Jserex to the couple “Bardek” and his girlfriend “Winex”. The screen play has evolved the story from an action movie more towards a love story with action.

As time moved on, I have submitted the plays to various groups for reviews. With feedback, I have been constantly tuning the scripts to continually make them better.

Not standing still, I have laid out the base for different screen plays. “Warrior Gem” is taken from my short story “A New Watcher”. My delay in finishing comes from the desire to change the ending.

On Veterans Day in 2014, while thinking about our troops, I decided I should attempt a Christmas story and the idea of “And The Angel Watched Over The Flock” came to mind. “And the Angel Watched over the Flock” is a story about a severely injured Vet finding love and the Christmas he has never had. This is a different flow since I am starting from an idea and not from an existing story I have written.

While you might think this shouldn’t matter, in reality it does. When I write a short story, I have a fairly focused ten page thought in mind. When I write a screen play, I focus on the back and forth conversations, not the complete story. It’s like the difference between painting a picture from an image you have seen and building a painting not knowing what the ending will be, but having to design the details as you move forward.

My surge forward and slowing down is largely driven from my “day job” as a Chief Engineer on Navy and Army systems. Sometimes I am too tired to write, sometimes I come up with an idea for my writing and will stay up late to make sure I get down. There are other times when I need to do something for my marketing efforts.

In my next blog, I will give you a feel for my mixed up life.


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© 2013 by Ronald Townsen