screenwriter

Thinking of Writing a Screenplay?

screenwriting

Would you like to Write for TV or the Movies?  Screenwriting (and then selling) is not an easy task, as I explained in an article for novice screenwriters.

Amazon launched Storywriter, a simple, free, auto-formatting Screenwriting tool for authors.  Amazon Storywriter automatically formats your action descriptions, transitions, and dialogues into screen scripts.  Writers can even work off-line thanks to a Chrome extension for both Mac and PC. The screenwriting app is free – not exactly top-notch – but it gives beginners an option to start their screenwriting career.
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Storywriter may be mainly a means for writers to submit their show ideas to Amazon in a consistent formatting.
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From their Storywriter’s Press Release:
“Amazon is always on the lookout for compelling new voices and interesting characters in series and movies that have the potential to become hits. Amazon continues to accept original scripts for feature films, primetime comedy series for adults, series for children between the ages of 2-14, and now for the first time also welcomes drama series submissions.”
“Amazon is dedicated to producing high-quality, original films and television series that customers love, and enabling more writers to obtain access to creative resources will ultimately help us discover great new talent.  Just recently we were thrilled to debut the second season of Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, a kids show that came to us as a script submission.”
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The Benefits for Screenwriter-Authors:
Even though many screenwriters prefer still Writerduet, which one can also use for free, there are some benefits of using Storywriter:

  • Securely store an unlimited number of scripts.
  • Auto-formatting lets you focus on your story.
  • Feedback from audiences even in early stages.
  • Members of the Writer’s Guild of America are invited too!
  • Amazon Original Series are available on Prime Video.
  • Most options will be evaluated within 45 days.
  • You can submit screenplays for comedy, TV series, drama TV series, and feature-length films.

Lots of questions about this new tool and considerations for writers are answered on their studio page.
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As Always: Writer Beware!
The Amazon Studios Submission Agreement is a contract that governs your and Amazon Studios’ rights to the works you submit.  If you want to submit a script or video to Amazon Studios, you will want to make sure you read and understand it first.  Register your script or video content with the U.S. Copyright Office or with the Writer’s Guild of America.

If Amazon wants to option your screenplay, even if you are not a Writer’s Guild of America member, they will propose an agreement with terms that meet or exceed applicable WGA minimums.
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Simply log in with your Amazon account to access Amazon Storywriter. This writer-friendly software takes the pain out of formatting, with features including auto-format as you type and import/export of PDF, FDX and Fountain formats. Screenwriters can write online while their scripts are saved as they work, knowing all their material is being stored securely in the cloud.
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There are dozens of professional screenwriting software packages available beside Screenwriter, such as Final Draft, Movie Magic or Celtx Plus, however they are not free.  See also detailed software reviews and comparisons in “TopTenReviews”.

 

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Author Interview Cleveland O. McLeish

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Cleveland O. McLeish

Today’s Author Interview is with Cleveland O. McLeish, a prolific writer, screenwriter and play wright. 

Cleveland, thanks for telling us a bit more about yourself and your books. How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it? For example your latest work Chloe.

Chloe represents everyone who has ever made a difference in somebody’s life. She was that unplanned pregnancy that came with an option to abort, who grew up to change the world…or did she.

Chloe is a mystery/thriller that will keep the reader guessing. I have a friend who read the book, and skipped to the end, only to be forced to go back and read the book from where she left off.
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What inspired you to start writing ?
I have been writing plays for my church since 1999. It was fun to be able to add some structure to the productions we did, as opposed to just improvising. That led to my online ministry at www.christianplaywright.org. I loved writing so much, that I have tried my hand at all types of writing.
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ChloeHow did you get the idea for the novel?

It was originally a play, that morphed into a screenplay that ended up as a novel. Each version has won an award, so it’s easily one of my favorite stories. I was inspired to write it many years ago from a “What if” thought I had.

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Who is your favorite character and why?
Chloe, of course. She has easily grown to be a part of me….a part of the family. She is real, honest and open about how she feels and what she is thinking. She is not afraid to be herself, despite what others may think of her.
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Are your characters based on real people?
Fragments of real people, no one particular character.
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Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
This was written by a non-Christian:  “I don’t agree with the message of this book and I think some of its points are a bit of a stretch, but that doesn’t mean that the story didn’t catch me by surprise and present an argument that was not only concise but well written. Instead of shoving points of view in your face, it guides you through a scenario that is a valid way to approach this topic. (I won’t spoil it for you future readers)I didn’t realize the impact of what was going to happen to the characters until it really hit me and I realized the intent of the story. It did make me think for a moment about my own personal beliefs and though they differ than what is in the book, I still think it’s a good read because of how thought out and well written it is.”
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If Oprah invited you onto her show to talk about your book, what would the theme of the show be?
Purpose of Life
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How much of the book is based on real life (either yours or someone you know)?
Not much. I created a world I was not familiar with, and characters I was meeting for the very first time.
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Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you have learned as a writer from then to now?
Being persistent and consistent in writing will make us better writers.
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What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of, and why?
Well, it’s hard to say with spoiling it for future readers, but without saying it…I am sure everyone who reads the book will agree that that is the best part lol.
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If your book would be made into a movie, who should play the main character?
Emma Watson would do well as Chloe.
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How did you get published? Please share your own personal journey.
I have had written material for a while, as well as hundreds of length plays. I have approached trade Who-I-am-in-Godpublishers in the past, but found it to be too tedious a task, so I was quite content with the reach and success of my website. One day while browsing, Amazon took me to CreateSpace.com.  It caught my interest, so I tested the system with a few of my plays, as customers keep asking me for hard copies of plays from my website. It worked out pretty well, and I was sold on their system…so I have been using them since.
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What general advice do you have for other writers?
Keep writing, and never stop. Write everyday. Write consistently everyday. Rejection from publishers and peers is not a failing grade for your talent. Most of all, believe in yourself, and what you write.
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What is the best part of being a writer?
Touching and prompting a change for the better in someone…maybe bringing comfort or laughter to those who mourn or are dejected.
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Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process?  What’s your least favorite? Creating a story on a blank piece of paper is priceless. Marketing and getting the book on the shelves is a difficult stage for me.
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What is ONE thing that you have done that brought you more readers? 
Announce the availability of my book during a Church service.
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What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
Writing everyday.
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Where’s the one place in the world you’d like to visit?
Jerusalem.
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What is your favorite book?
Anything by Frank Peretti or Randy Alcorn
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How would a close friend describe you?
Troublesome. LOL
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Where can people learn more about your writing?
My website www.christianplaywright.org
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These are Cleveland McLeish’s latest books:

Chloe: A Novel, available on Amazon as paperback and e-book

Who I Am In Christ: 101 Daily Declarations of Faithpaperback and e-book

or meet him at Facebook
or his webpage to learn more about this multi-award-winning playwright and screenwriter, who considers himself one of God’s modern-day scribes. He has penned over 100 plays and several
screen plays, some of which have won Bronze, Silver and Gold medals in competition, including the Screenplay Chloe Cleopatra Taylor. He is also a youth director and lay minister in the Church of God of Prophecy in Jamaica. He is a born Jamaican living in Kingston with his lovely wife, Nordia.
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Tagged: Chloe, Cleveland McLeish, Declarations of Faith, playwright, screenwriter, Thriller, Who I Am In Christ, www.christianplaywright.org


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