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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

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This week's question: 

I'm starting to lose hope that I'm ever going to sell a script.


This week's answer: 

The Good, Bad, and the Adequate

JJ, I appreciate your candor.  I could put on my cheerleading outfit (although I don't look that good in it anymore -- or ever did) and try to rah-rah you into not thinking that way and leap into the air, shouting at the top of my lungs (why are the top of the lungs louder than the bottom of the lungs?), "You can do it!  You can do it!"  I could tell you to keep on writing because if you keep at it, one day you're going to sell your first script! Yaaaaaay!  Let's hear it... for script spirit!

I'm not going to do that, JJ.  I'd never do that.  (And not just because I lost my pom-poms.)  The hard truth is that you may never sell a script.  Actually, the odds are that you won't.  Now you're probably expecting me to tell you that shouldn't stop you from continue screenwriting.  I'm not going to say that, either.  And the reason for that is because the only reason to write screenplays is because 

yOU WAnt To

Not because you want to sell them, but because you want to write them.  Oh, it's great to sell one or more.  But don't write screenplays for that reason.  Here's another truth:   Many people who think they can write or think they have written a good screenplay can't and haven't and, most likely, never will.  A well-crafted screenplay takes a great deal of discipline and talent.  And many just don't have the talent, and many are not willing to develop the discipline.  

But -- and I say this not to confuse you -- that doesn't mean they won't sell a screenplay.  Bad screenplays sell.  In fact, sometimes it's easier to sell a bad or just adequate screenplay than it is to sell a good screenplay.  Go figure.

So, in a way, when it comes to selling a screenplay, there's really no rhyme or reason.  That fact can work in your favor, can free you to just write.  So, if you want to... write a screenplay.

Even a bad one.  


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