A Word – or 2 – From Last Year’s Spec Scriptacular 2nd Place Winner

To be precise, Jenn Dlugos placed 2nd in the Action/Drama/Dramedy category and was kind enough to say a few words about the contest on one of the web’s best screenwriting sites, MovieBytes.Com.

Have a look:

Jenn DlugosMovieBytes Interview: Screenwriter Jenn Dlugos

An interview with screenwriter Jenn Dlugos regarding the Spec Scriptacular Writing Competition.

Q: What’s the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what’s it about?

A: I wrote a spec script for Once Upon a Time titled “Wool Over His Eyes.” It featured Mother Goose characters in Storybrooke.

Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?

A: I have a comedy background, so I’ve never written a 60-minute drama spec script before. The idea for this script popped into my head during one of my daily morning walks. I work best with a deadline, and this contest was open for submissions.

Q: Were you satisfied with the administration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?

A: Absolutely! Larry Brody and his staff had excellent communication with the writers, and they issued prizes immediately. Plus, the announcements of semi-finalists, finalists, and winners gave me good news on three different Monday mornings. This year the contest provides feedback to every writer who submits to the Spec Scriptacular and the People’s Pilot contests, which is a great bonus for writers.

Q: How long did it take you to write the script? Did you write an outline beforehand? How many drafts did you write?

A: Once Upon a Time flips back and forth between the past and the present. I had the past part outlined, but I couldn’t lock down the present until I saw how Season 1 ended. Once I had that, I wrote the script in two weeks to hit the June 1st contest deadline. I always make a detailed scene-by-scene outline before writing a script. I’d rather fight with an outline that’s not working than a script that’s not. The script I submitted was my second draft.

Q: What kind of software did you use to write the script, if any? What other kinds of writing software do you use?

A: Movie Magic Screenwriter. I’m a screenwriting teacher, so I also have Celtx, because a lot of my students use that.

Q: Do you write every day? How many hours per day?

A: I’m a freelance writer, so I spend the majority of my time banging on my laptop keyboard. I do work on creative pursuits every day, whether it’s a film project, screenplay, novel, or blog post. Writing every day makes you a better writer, but that’s not the only benefit. A few years ago, I wrote a YA novel during my 30-minute lunch breaks. It took a year and a half before I finally typed “The End,” but that short creative detour every day put my head in a good place and revived my energy for the afternoon.

Q: Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with that?

A: I once heard that writer’s block is just a fear of failing yourself, and there is some truth to that statement. You’re not always going to know where the story is going or what a character should do, but sitting in front of a blinking cursor on your computer screen is just a recipe for frustration. Skip ahead to a different scene or go back to the outline and brainstorm the possibilities. If that doesn’t work, put it on the back burner and work on something else. It’ll still be there when you have that burst of inspiration at 2:30 in the morning.

Q: What’s your background? Have you written any other screenplays or television scripts?

A: This was my first TV drama spec script, but I‘ve been a screenwriter and an independent filmmaker for several years. I love teaching screenwriting and tutoring students individually on their projects. It makes my day when a student emails me with news that they’ve won a contest or had a script produced. In June, I started a blog of weekly screenwriting tips at www.thescriptscribe.com

Q: Do you live in Los Angeles? If not, do you have any plans to move there?

A: I’m an East Coast gal, but I would definitely make the jump to LA for the right opportunity.

Q: What’s next? Are you working on a new script?

A: Currently, my film partner and I are finalists in the Lifetime Television Unscripted Development Pipeline, an opportunity sponsored by the New York Television Festival. The Script Scribe blog updates weekly, and I have a few new TV script projects. I’m also the co-editor of a humor anthology book series titled Mug of Woe. We’re currently accepting submissions for true stories of dating gone wrong at www.mugofwoe.com. The deadline for submissions (naturally) is Valentine’s Day.

Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Didja see that? “Larry Brody and his staff….” Somebody finally noticed us! Thanks, Jenn, we love you too. And thanks for saying all those nice – and oh so true – things about the Spec Scriptacular.

Which reminds us. Have you finished your entry for the Spec Scriptacular (or, for that matter, the People’s Pilot) yet? Can’t win if you don’t enter and can’t enter if you don’t, you know, write. The contest closes June 1st, but you can get the Early Bird Discount of $10 off the entry fee if you sign up before March 1st.

Info on the Spec Scriptacular

Info on the People’s Pilot

Get the full lowdown on TV and screenplay writing in Larry Brody’s Absolutely Essential How-To Book, Television Writing from the Inside Out

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Click on the pic to go straight to Television Writing from the Inside Out on Amazon.Com

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