OnTheGoWithAmyO.

"Live The Life You've Imagined." ~Thoreau

Archive for the tag “Writing”

2nd Rounder in Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition!

 

It’s Official! This is the good news I’ve been dying to share with you…

It’s an honor to announce that my Romantic/Comedy screenplay “ParentsMatchU.com” made it to the 2nd Round (Top 15%) of the prestigious Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition!

2ndround_aff_comedy

So, what does this mean?

#1) To *me*: It’s validation for hundreds of hours of work on this script – writing the original draft, the revisions, editing, scene arrangement, dialogue, character-development, etc.

#2) Festival Bonus: Admittance to private events and Round Table discussions that are only open to “2nd Rounders or Higher” during the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival.

#3) The Script: After some additional revisions, I’ll send it off to my industry contacts and other screenwriting contests, which will hopefully increase the opportunity for “ParentsMatchU.com” to be optioned by a studio or director, and eventually produced!

A huge *thank you* to my eagle-eye proofreaders Lorelei, Suzan & Patsy who gave so generously of their time to read the script and provide feedback/corrections prior to submission.

The complete list of 2nd Rounders and Semifinalists is available at this link:https://austinfilmfestival.com/…/screenp…/2016-sf-2rounders/

Write on!

AmyO.

Austin Film Festival Submission!

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Scene-by-Scene Analysis, RV Style

With less than a half an hour to spare before the Friday, May 20th, deadline for the Austin Film Festival, I submitted my full-length Romantic/Comedy screenplay, knowing I had given my best!

This was the same script that I sent out to a few contests last year, mainly for feedback critiques and comments, so I could get the story, characters and dialogue ready for Austin Film Festival,  the “big kahuna” of screenplay contests, in my book.

Of all the screenplays (and short stories, for that matter) that I’ve written, this is the one that I’m most proud of.

Since the Austin Film Festival allows screenplays to be entered in both the Drama (Romance) and Comedy categories, I entered the script in both categories.

As you may notice by the photo, there were some unique challenges of the RV Life for hands-on scene-by-scene analysis… but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Additionally, I was lucky that plans to “move on down the road” were delayed, so I didn’t lose any time leading up to the deadline with traveling or break-down/set-up of the RV.

A big shout out to my Muse for the overtime these past two weeks – writing from 7am-3am, around my Day Job hours. Thank you!

Although I admit, by May 20th, my fridge was empty, my laundry pile was sky high, and I had not left the RV except to walk my dog Sofie-Darla… it was all consuming revisions! I’m pretty sure there are many writers who can relate to the manic frenzy of which I speak.

There have been a couple of people ask, “Do you think you’ll win?”

My reply, “My goal for this script is to at least make the 2nd Round; any higher than that will be gravy!”

Write On!

AmyO.

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2015 Is Here!

‪Ever dreamed of writing a book?

National Novel Writing Month (‪aka NaNoWriMo‬ or NaNo) is here!

This annual world-wide event encourages writers of all levels and all ages to get your fanny in the chair and crank out 50,000 words in 30 days.

No editing, no revising, and no judgement – simply get the words out of your head and onto paper or Word doc.

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You can write the suggested 1,667 words a day, or you can write 5,000 words once every few days; it’s completely up to you.

The finished product is the satisfaction that you did it (victory!!!), along with a tangible rough first draft that you can then revise, edit, rearrange and clean up during the month of December.

For info or to get signed up, visit www.nanowrimo.org (If you do, feel free to become my “Writing Buddy” at amyo1027.)

MY 2015 NANO PROJECT

  • Title: “Ten Dragons & The Angry Mermaid Queen”
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • YA Category: Upper Middle Grade
  • The Goal: 50,000 words by Nov. 30th
  • The Reward: A full rough draft of a book or novel, with a splash of satisfaction, pride, and victory.Dragons

Write on,

~AmyO.

Are You Still A Writer Or What? The Struggles of a Writer/Photographer

For the past month, my life has been consumed with photography – bordering addiction, I happily admit. When I’ve got a camera in hand, I find myself excited, soothed, inspired, focused and alive!

My newfound passion for photography has left little time to write fiction.

So am I still a writer?

Since childhood, I’ve enjoyed dreaming up stories about characters who cross my imagination, then putting those visions into words on paper. So why would I question whether I was still a writer?

Back in June, I completed a feature-length Romantic/Comedy screenplay that I’d been working on for about 18 months. It was a joy – and a relief – to send it off to three screenwriting contests.

My plan was to jump right in to the next major project, yet I could not seem to “commit” to any one story. I tried a variety of tactics to force myself to choose a new writing project: bribing myself with goodies, denying simple pleasures, and everything in between.

So I picked up my camera in order to redirect my frustration.

WOW! I had forgotten how much fun this could be!

Granted, my Journalism degree required several photography classes, and my job as a sports editor and reporter at newspapers and magazines usually required that I provide my own photos for the articles. However, so much has changed with the introduction of digital photography that it’s been like a whole new adventure!

With my camera in tow, I could spend hour after hour taking pictures of sea shells and sand dollars…

092015_SandDollarBeforeStorms

…or capturing images of photos of sailboats on a sunny Saturday afternoon…

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…or dolphins as they bring a ship into the channel at dusk…

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…or a pelican on the jetty waiting for a fisherman to throw her a fish…

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…or delicate flowers radiant after an island shower…

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…nightly festivities at a popular marina hangout…

09222015_ColorfulMarinaAtNight_BEST

…or slow shutter speeds to create unique “painting with lights” images.09222015_AntiqueWhiteLights_BEST

The hours spent taking photos seemed to fly by in a blink of an eye – much like when I’m writing.

Therefore, instead of fighting this passion for photography, perhaps my current project isn’t writing, but instead seeing the beauty all around me with fresh eyes and new perspective though the lens of a camera.

Artistic expression is limitless, abundant and evolving. I am and always will be a writer, but that’s only a part of my creative soul.

Where will photography take me? I have no idea, but I promise you that I’m going to enjoy the ride!

Make it happen,

AmyO.

A Name Is Power To A Character

“A Name Is Power To A Character”

For me as a writer, it’s imperative that my characters have names that represent their energy, personality, faults and dreams, especially the main characters.

Some of you may remember a blog post last year when I FIRED a main character from my Romantic/Comedy screenplay because her name (and all that she represented) wasn’t a good fit for the role. It just wasn’t working, and I had to let her go.

(But not to worry – that character will turn up in another one of my stories, to be sure.)

LeighAndSelznik

Selznick & Leigh (Courtesy Photo)

Enter “Brandy.”

Brandy embodied exactly the traits I was looking for in that main female character. Once I cast Brandy – well, her name, that is – in that coveted role, everything worked! All I had to do was transcribe her actions, interactions, reactions and dialogue.

I think I have an idea now of how David O. Selznick felt when he was introduced to Vivian Leigh on the set of the Burning of Atlanta scene in the filming of “Gone With The Wind.” His year-long search to find the perfect “Scarlett O’Hara” was a bust, and he’d filmed just about every scene he could around her. However, the instant he met Ms. Leigh, he instantly knew he’d found “Scarlett.”

Yes, Brandy made it work. She gelled perfectly with the other characters – brought out their worst, and brought out their best, all the while growing up herself during the process.

Good job, Brandy, and thank you!

Let’s hope the screenplay contest judges feel the same way.

Write on,

AmyO.

Screenplay Possibilities!

June 2015 was a busy & wonderful month for my creative writing endeavors.

06012015_ScriptSubmitted2I completed, polished and submitted my Romantic/Comedy screenplay to three national Screenwriting Contests:

► NYWIFT, WritersLab
► Bluecat Screenplay Competition
► Final Draft Big Break Contest

If it doesn’t place in any of these contests, it’ll be ready for the Austin Film Festival & The Academy’s Nichols Fellowships in 2016.

Fellow Screenwriters, I’m curious to know what your favorite screenwriting contests are for feature-length scripts. Your comments and suggestions are most appreciated.

If the first half of the year is any indication, 2015 is well on its way of being “The Year of Triumphant Success!”

Write on,

AmyO.

Scene Flip Flop!

It’s amazing how a simple change in the order of scenes can make or break a storyline.

For the past three weeks, I’ve been poking and prodding at Act 1 (Sequence 1-3 for Writers Boot Camp alums), but something just wasn’t right. Something was off; it wasn’t working.

PMUStoryboard_FirstHalf_ForPostingRevisions can only go so far when a scene sequence isn’t working. As writers, we all want a nice easy transition from one scene (or chapter) to the next.

Luckily, I have my story board cards, and on a whim, I asked myself those awesome words, “What if.”

What if I flip flop the first and second scenes?

So, I shuffled the cards around, and PRESTO! It was as if a spectacular Roman candle exploded! I could hear the applause from my characters (and maybe one or two silently muttering, “Finally, sheesh!”).

In any case, having a story board of color-coded index cards allows me the flexibility to have a visual road map of my story.

Flip flopping those two major scenes, and adding a couple of minor scenes a little further on, has been like a breath of fresh air for inspiration and motivation.

My goal is to have this full-length feature film script completed by Oct. 1st. I believe this Scene Flip Flop has me back on track. #WriteOn

Make it happen!

Amy O.

My Muse, A True Story!

Good morning, world.

On a productive “early morning writing session” like today, it seems fitting to retell this true story.

My Muse sure can be a little stinker, but I am so blessed to have her!

Make it happen,

Amy O.


A TRUE STORY! Early Morning, 4am.

MUSE: Psst! Wake up.

ME: *grumble*

MUSE: You just dreamed the last half of your script. Get up!

ME: I’m sleeping.

MUSE: Bacon. Do you smell bacon?

ME: *sniff sniff* Bacon. Bacon?! I’m vegetarian.
(turns over and snuggles in the covers)

MUSE: Did you leave the dog out last night?

ME: What? Sofie-Darla is right there.

MUSE: Psst.

ME: Go away.

MUSE: Psst.

(Pause)

MUSE: Psst.

(Pause)

MUSE: Psst.

ME: Fine! I’m up!

3 hours later: Completed Story Board for final half of the script.

Thank you for your persistence, Muse.”

PMUStoryboard_FinalHalf_ForPosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Originally posted on my Facebook page, May 2014.

Today, I fired a Main Character…

From my Twitter account:

08082014_FiredCharacter


For the past five days, I’ve *really* struggled with my Romantic/Comedy script.

The problem: The lead female character, Layne. While all the other characters are energized and ready for action, conflict, and humor, Layne drops the ball in every scene. There’s no chemistry between Layne and her romantic suitors.  She’s bland. She’s wimpy. She’s B-O-R-I-N-G!

So this morning, Layne got her pink slip. (Don’t feel sorry for her. Layne wasn’t right for this story, but perhaps there will be another opportunity for her in a future script.)

As it turns out, I have a character chomping at the bit to take over this lead female role. She auditioned for the part early on, and luckily was still on stand-by.

This new character is feisty, rebellious, outspoken, angry… a real firecracker!

It’s going to be really fun to write her in with the rest of the cast.

Make it happen!

Amy O.

 

 

Making a Dream Happen

 

WaltDisney

I believe it!

I’ve had a life-long dream to do this:

1027Laptop_2  &  AmyO_rv-travel-300x200

 

So after two years of planning, I sold my Waco house:

SOLD

 

Bought this:

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So I can do this:

MorningWriting05032013

 

Of course, I still do a little of this:

08082014TNRRescue2

 

Mixed in with a little of this:

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Mostly, I do a lot of this:

PMUStoryboard_FinalHalf_ForPosting     &      PMUSnapshot1b

 

Because this is what it’s all about:

LifeIsAJourney

 

Make it happen!

Amy O.

 

 

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