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Writing Plays/Screenwriting/Does it mean I should give up?


One of my screenplays is similar to a movie which is about to be released...There are differences, but there are also many similarities. Does it mean I should give up on that screenplay?(eg: no longer re-write it, don't submit it nowhere, delete it, etc.)? I was really fond of that particular script. Thank you for reading this!

Hi Victor

I, and almost all professional screenwriters, have experienced what you're experiencing, or something like it.

Why is that?  Typically we become so imbued with the movies we've seen that our subconscious leads us into developing a story that consists of a standard movie structure. Somebody always beats us to the punch, if we try that.

The remedy is to come up with story ideas from our personal lives, from other people's personal lives, or material drawn from any sources except movies or television.

Hollywood writers and producers are very big on basing their movies on other art forms--novels and short stories to begin with, but also news items, memoirs, stage plays and lives of real people, as well as stories that are in the public domain (which means that one need not buy the story). Think of how many Frankensteins, Sherlock Holmes, and stories by Edgar Allen Poe have been converted into movies (but with a new twist).

I recommend you search in those fields and start anew. Find an idea that you are deeply passionate and excited about, do a beat-sheet and work hard on it until you're compelled to write scenes. IOW don't start by writing scenes. You'll be lost in the wilderness.

You need to kick that old script to the curb.

If you want to find out how to build a successful screenplay, check out my book, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE STORY, at

Best of success in your writing career, Victor,


Writing Plays/Screenwriting

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Barry Pearson


I`m a credited writer on nine feature films. My latest movie, IRON ROAD, which stars Peter O'Toole and Sam Neill, opened as feature, then aired as a four-hour miniseries on network television. Sun Li, the Chinese star, won the best actress award at the Roma Fiction Fest recently. I’ve produced more than 300 episodes of television drama, including 13 episodes of Deepwater Black, and 106 episodes of Katts & Dog (Rin-Tin-Tin, K-9 Cop in the U.S.). I've answered over 1200 All Experts questions!


I've been in the business of writing and producing feature films, television series, and MOW's for over 20 years. You can check me out at this URL

You can find my books on Amazon. See DON'T LET ANYONE STEAL YOUR STORY ( is a stripped-down readable summary of copyright, full of entertaining anecdotes and real-life examples. Read about the true horror stories that clearly show you what you need to do to avoid the misfortune of having your literary material stolen. Find out: * How to take simple inexpensive steps to protect yourself, before, during, and after you write your literary work. * How copyright law applies to writers of literary works. * How literary works enter public domain, and how you can use it to your advantage. * What aspects of literary works are protected by copyright, and what aspects are not protected. * How to create documentation that will prove your copyright entitlement in the event of an infringement on your rights. * How you can protect yourself if you are contracted to write for television. You’ll also get a FREE sample of an Option and Purchase Agreement, a contract used in the acquisition of rights in a literary property—a contract that you and your lawyer can customize for your property. Written by a writer, for writers, Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Story will help you protect yourself against plagiarists and anyone else who might infringe your right of sole ownership. ------------- Also on Amazon, my book of four short stories, THE TWENTY-BUSHEL RACER. A man’s redemption from bitterness enables him to become a loving father. A teenager discovers the importance of his attachment to the people in his life and the place where he is growing up. A man, who has for years considered himself a coward and a betrayer of his comrades, musters the courage to stand up against a pair of would-be assassins. Two young men, who grew up in the same town, meet unexpectedly, reminisce about a girl they both loved when they were boys, and unveil a truth that changes both their lives.

Master of Arts degree (Drama)

Awards and Honors
Among my awards are Best Screenplay, Best Picture, at the International Film & Television Festival of New York for THE LIFE AND TIMES OF EDWIN ALONZO BOYD, Best Screenplay, Feature Film, at the 12th International Film Festival in Sitges, Spain for PLAGUE, and a Special Jury Award, Feature Film at the San Francisco International Film Festival for PLAGUE.

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