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New Past Time: Reading Screenplays May 7, 2011

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, Misc, Study.
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I’ve developed a new hobby: reading screenplays.  I never realised how much fun and how educational it be.

I read a few when I did screenwriting last year, but I kind of considered it a necessary learning experience and didn’t read as many as I should have.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the university library looking for a book that was conveniently ‘misplaced’.  It was listed as available but was nowhere to be found.  Typical.

Anyway, I was huffing and puffing from all the running around looking for it and desperately needed a break.  So I rested against a shelf of books and randomly decided to pluck one out.  As it turned out, I was at the screenplay section, and the one I picked was ‘The Contest’ episode of Seinfeld, possibly one of the greatest half hours in sitcom history.

I found myself laughing out loud as I read it, gaining a new appreciation for Larry David’s (and Jerry Seinfeld’s) genius, and the genius of the actors to be able to pull off those lines.  It was quite astonishing, really, putting anything I have ever written to complete and utter shame.

I used to think screenplays were just for the lines, but reading a good screenplay is a very enjoyable exercise in itself.  And a lot quicker than reading a book too.

I’ve grabbed a few more screenplays to read at home, just for fun.  I just got through the screenplay of one of my favourite films, Fargo, which has a phenomenal screenplay, a well-deserved Oscar winner.  The way the Coens write dialogue is just ridiculous.

I’m looking forward to doing more, when I have the time.  I do also have plenty of books I still need to read as well, not to mention a whole heap of writing to do.

Which screenplay should I read next?

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Useful Resource for Writers (who want to get published!) April 25, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in On Writing.
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Just quickie – I’ve started getting seriously serious about my studies, given that exams are just a month away!  That being said, while randomly surfing during one of my, er “breaks”, I came across FirstWriter.com.

The layout looks fairly plain, but it seems there are lots of goodies on it.  I haven’t looked at its ‘Writing Tips’ section yet, but what caught my attention were the specific search engines for literary agents and (book and magazine) publishers.  In particular, you can modify your searches to limit them to your particular type of writing (eg fiction or non-fiction) and genre, plus you can allocate a specific geographic region.

There is also a writing competition search engine which I’ve tried, and it’s pretty cool too.  Recently I started thinking about (and even did a couple of) short stories, so maybe I’ll give some of these competitions a go to try get some writing credits to pad (well, start) the portfolio.

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