Thursday, December 23, 2010

Where do you find scripts to read?

Okay, you read that last post on reading, and you think, that’s all well and good, sir, but you worked in a theater company in New York so you had to read a ton of bad and good plays.  

I’m a [blank] and I live in the middle of nowhere in [blank] and I don’t have access to a bunch of plays and screenplays.

Ah, but you do…

First of all, we live in this wonderful country with free access to libraries, either public libraries or the one in your closest university.  They have plays there, good and bad (yes, even bad plays get published and produced).  They have screenplays there, as well.  Of course, they also have a ton of novels, magazines, etc. 

Also, we live in the wonderful age of the internet.  There are many, many, many websites which host access to screenplays.  If you look hard enough, you can even find screenplays  in production or pre-production (I read an earlier draft of Mel Gibson’s new movie THE BEAVER a year ago when it was on the black list).

Another great resource—join a writer’s group or find another writer and read his/her stuff.  You can learn a lot by being involved in your colleagues’ growth as a writer (and they can definitely help you). 

If you are near a theater and this theater takes submissions, ask if they need readers.  They may get back to you and say yes, or they may not.  Or they may not get back to you at all because most literary departments are swamped, overworked and underpaid.  But they will appreciate the offer (usually).

Go to  You can sign up to receive a poem a day.  Reading Robert Frost or some new poet I’d never heard of at the start of my day reminds me of the beauty of language all around us.

Do your research.  


It’s part of your job as a writer.

(Of course, there is no substitute for actual performances--one must also go to the theatre, go to readings, be involved with your local theaters as much as possible--but that's for another post).

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