Daily Archives: May 24, 2010

“Executive Action”

This scene was written for the 2010 Spring Cyberspace open, Round 1. I had 48 hours to write a scene based on the following premise:

“Your protagonist is crushed. His or her plans have been dashed; his objective now appears impossible. And yet if he throws in the towel, bad things will happen. Write a scene in which a mentor, friend, love interest or enemy rallies or provokes your protagonist in an unexpected way. Be sure to give us your best dialogue here as your protagonist comes around and rises – or falls — to the occasion.”

With the clock ticking this loudly, I had to come up with a premise that had possibilities, whether I saw the complete story or not. I’m glad I went with the story choice for “Executive Action;” after I finished it, I could easily see it as a scene from a smart political comedy. See what you think.

Executive Action (PDF Download)

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“Sleep, Angel”

I wrote this 5-page scene for the Creative Screenwriting 2009 Cyberspace Open. It was a time-based writing competition in which contestants had 48 hours to write a 5-page scene based on a premise offered by the judges.

I worked pretty hard on the entry, but scored only an 89; a score of 91 or higher was required to move on to the next round. Looking back, this was an okay piece, but it’s not my best work. I’m posting it more so that any interest readers can see the change between this and successive scenes.

Here’s the entry I received for the Fall 2009 Contest:

Your PROTAGONIST’S allies have turned on him (or her.) His reputation is now in tatters, largely due to his own screw-up — which has been magnified and broadcast by the ANTAGONIST. Write the scene in which the protagonist tries to win the allies back. The scene should include a heartfelt mea culpa. You may use any setting, era or characters in addition to the ones indicated, as needed.

Here’s the scene:



TED WARMS (43,) slumps in a chair. His left wrist is shackled to a thick plate bolted to the dented table top. In bare feet, he wears a bathrobe, pajama bottoms and a T-shirt with the Dalai Lama’s serene face. His right hand fiddles with a salt-and-pepper ponytail.

He sits up straight when the door opens to admit ERNIE ASTORIA (56,) a burly man who clearly loves to smile, and PATTY CAIN (35,) a curvy, petite woman who does not. Astoria carries a large brown bag, they both wear detectives’ badges. Astoria sits as Patty observes her reflection in the two-way glass.

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1927 Paramount map of CA shooting locations

Paramount CA Location map, 1927If anyone knows where I can get a poster-sized copy, let me know.

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