As a challenge to myself, and because I love movies and limited series, I’m teaching myself screenplay style. As part of the process, I’m adapting some of my novels into either feature-length movies or limited series (basically, long movies that come out in installments, like most streaming content these days).

While I’m working on adapting The All Nations Team (my baseball novel of players from around the world during World War I) and Heart’s Revenge (my paranormal romance about haunted shipwrecks), I thought I’d share the openings to two projects I started a while back.

Unassisted Living

I wrote this complete screenplay a few years ago, based on an idea I’d had about a guy in his 30s who was more than ready to retire. It starts off with a good bit of physical humor and “fish-out-of-water” situations, and then it takes a couple interesting, darker turns. It’s actually not an adaptation, but straight screenplay (though I did do an inverse adaptation and adapted the screenplay into a novella, just for kicks).

Download the the first three (okay four) pages (PDF). (And let me know if you’d like to read the rest!)

A Sudden Outbreak of Magic

This novel is the first novel I tried adapting, and I adapted just enough of it so I could have something to send in to the Scriptnotes podcast — they occasionally review the openings to screenplays written by new screenwriters as part of their Three Page Challenges. I’ve learned a ton from those episodes (and from the podcast in general), even if they didn’t pick these three pages to critique on the air. 🙂

The link below is to the first three pages to A Sudden Outbreak of Magic, which is also the first novel I ever attempted to write all those years ago. I think it’s held up pretty well with its mix of magic, history, and quirky characters. The opening to the screenplay takes place over a century ago in Chicago, right around the time of a very big fire… Enjoy!

Download the the first three pages (PDF).