I think every screenwriter should ghost write a few times.
Not only to learn to adapt and patience,
but also to pinpoint what you’ve done in your own script/s
that you are telling others not to.

So, the contract is signed, payment made, and deadline set.

 And you are tempted to post online all about it…


 This is huge – Restraint is critical to your career.

You will not get first posting, and rightly so. This is not about you.

 It is about the client, the project, and how they plan to market the project.
You will be required to acquire permission to post about their story.
This is at the discretion of the individual or company that has hired and paid you
to set a time and place to promote.

If you must,
think of it as the mother of all surprises that will be revealed at a much later date.

Most of those doing the hiring will be pleased that you want to
help them promote the project.

 It’s better than free advertising!


Whatever endeared you to the story in the first place will come through in your posts.
And write them when you’re in the thick of the story work.
They will be fabulous, heart-felt and emotional.
Awesome! Show them to your client.

 Now, file them away until the appropriate time when you are given
the go ahead to post them.
This will also give you the opportunity to revise with the depth and changes
you have added to the story before posting.




LOGLINE: The pitfalls and pratfalls of a group of young blue jays on their honeymoon who are hard pressed to get back home
with their sanity and chicks intact.

SYNOPSIS: In late spring, a paired group of blue jays get hitched. With Fred and Mavis in the lead, they all excitedly take flight to migrate north. Their first evening is spent at an ice edged lake where one of the group skips over the water.
As he sinks, the wranglers fish him out of the lake while four moldy old crows hold up marks.

The first day at the bird house resort the restaurant is plagued by bungee jumping inchworms until a phalanx of tent caterpillars eat the place. Then the eggs hatch. The young jay couples are not prepared. Mishap after mishap leads to
a storm that blows two chicks into the horrifying Great Western Waste.
There they narrowly escape a snowy owl on a munchies run.

Over a late afternoon autumn tinged city the flight breaks up. Relieved, Mavis walks into her tree hollow home, serene until the chicks zip in yelling and chasing each other. Fred comes in last and lovingly puts a wing around Mavis.

Orlanda Szabo
(204) 482-8132!/OrlandaSzabo




LOGLINE: Returning home thirty years after the disappearance of her kid sister,
Tannis faces her worst nightmare when her sister’s spirit makes herself heard.

Of two sisters in a small town, being older by one year, Tannis takes the mom role to heart and takes her work at the post office very seriously. When she comes in to clean, light-hearted Dawn refuses to let Tannis kill her good mood. Tannis shoos out the Sheriff and storeowner who always hang around near closing. She does the paperwork and tidies behind the wicket while the postmaster possessively watches Dawn sweep and wash the floor.

Dawn goes to the store while Tannis goes home and makes supper. When Dawn doesn’t come home and her linebacker boyfriend Keith comes to pick her up, they go to the bar to report Dawn missing to the Sheriff. The postmaster throws blame on Tannis. The Sheriff sends her home to wait for Dawn. Come autumn with Dawn still missing, heartbroken,
Tannis packs up and leaves town.

Returning after thirty years, Tannis hires two teens, Keith’s able-bodied son Alan and Merry’s mouse-like son, Bail to help her convert the old post office into a café/gift shop. When a weird pinkish stain runs up the post office wall into the upstairs bedroom, Keith shores up the foundation without noticing the crack.

Things start moving from where Tannis put them. A dream of violence and blood wakes her in tears, the blood in her dream fades with the sunlight. A massive shift cracks the wall from the bedroom to the basement. Tannis, Alan and Bail freak. Keith investigates a bit of bone and cloth sticking out of the wider crack in the basement. As Tannis touches the cloth, the crack bursts open throwing Dawn’s remains on top of her.
Tannis and Keith know who did it as Dawn is finally laid to rest.

Orlanda Szabo
(204) 482-8132!/OrlandaSzabo


When ideas run rampant!

It seems there are a multitude of screenwriting, and indeed, literary mentors and gurus who can effectively get a writer past a nasty session of writers block.

What is ironic is that there is no sage advice for those of us who are constantly bombarded by new script and/or story ideas. It’s enough to distract and entice the most dedicated writers from their immediate project. You have to jot it down lest you lose it. Which always leads to expanding it at least to the outline stage.

For myself, when dialogue starts pouring out, I have to forcibly distance myself from the idea. That means popping that outline into a folder and hiding it away in another room, just so I’m not tempted to – just give it a little tweak. So powerful is the call of a fresh new concept to a writer’s heart and mind.

Even so, it can take a few abortive attempts before mind and control can be enticed back to the script at hand. You know, the one you’re being paid to write, the one with a deadline attached.

Okay, stop right there.

That kind of thinking will only lead you back to the deliciously fresh unrestricted fruit of another new idea just waiting for the right moment to distract you at the most crucial juncture of your almost finished write-for-hire.

Don’t let it in.

Instead, focus on each individual visual already written in front of you. But I do have to wonder if this focus keeps bringing back the new idea. Is it meant to become a part of the current piece? I am thinking it probably should, and is likely what is missing. Why the work-for-hire script is not yet done.

Truly there is nothing wrong with finding all these ideas. Producers, publishers, agents, and managers will adore you for it, if it’s in their chosen genre.

If only there was time to write them all.

Reflecting back on hundreds of ideas I have had in the last few months, always in a quiet moment long after the idea struck. I am finding that many of them could not support a full two-hour storyline. Could a television series be lurking in there? That is always a good possible as anything goes these days. But they do make for sharp, intense, and thought provoking short scripts or stories.

Just the thing every budding writer/screenwriter needs to begin developing a portfolio.

How do you deal with your idea demons?

Or do you let them flow free?

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