Marie Cooper wrote fourteen screenplays from the 11th to 24th October 2021 during the Scriptly Writing challenge.
What is Scriptly Writing?
Scriptly Writing is an annual screenwriting challenge, run by the Literal Challenge. The aim is to write fourteen complete short screenplays in just two weeks.
How many words did I write during Scriptly Writing?
This year I wrote 14878 words over the course of the two weeks of the challenge. The fourteen screenplays consisted of 69 pages and 106 scenes, containing a total of 97 characters. Well, there were many more background characters and wildlife, but I left those out of my count.
Looking at the ratio of male to female characters, it might initially seem as if my screenplays were male-dominated with 60 male and 29 female characters. But, there were groups of male characters in some of my plays that skewed my stats. Despite the stats, many of my main characters were actually female. If I were to count the time characters were on the page and their lines, then the figures would most definitely be reversed. But I am not going into that much detail. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
I wrote 1107 fewer words compared to Scriptly Writing 2020, but I wrote in more characters this time. Or had become more aware of including those in the background to my scenes.
2021 A Challenging Challenge
I did spend far less time on my work this year though and therefore did less research for each brief and felt I wrote in much less detail.
It has been incredibly difficult to write my screenplays for this year’s challenge. Last year I had the luxury of lockdown, which provided time to think and create. This year the challenge has coincided with the removal of the Universal Credit uplift, pushing me into dire straits financially and with the impending doom of the Minimum income floor on the horizon. Sadly, the UK (well, the Torys) does not value its artists, arts and culture, or heritage or, well anything that does not fill someone’s already bulging coffers. Prices rise and Brexit empties our shelves in the UK, my face is still messed up and waiting to be fixed, forcing me off the stage and any unmasked acting work. I am working face to face again when Covid cases are currently higher in the UK than they have been since March, which is a worry.
I can’t deny, it has been incredibly difficult to work under these conditions. Trying to write around work and under pressure has been stressful. It only took receiving a Council Tax demand to send me to the edge this month. As a result, I really don’t feel that the standard of my writing has been as good as last year and this has left me feeling despondent. That the stress and pain have not been worth what I accomplished. But maybe that is what I thought at the end of the challenge last year. I will reassess now that the challenge is complete and once I have given myself a week or two of space to recover.
14 Short Screenplays by Marie Cooper
Obsessive Coffee Disorder – Day 1. Oct 11th 2021
Whatever is cooking in his oven, it doesn’t smell good.
The Elephant on the Grass – Day 2. Oct 12th 2021
An explosion of angst-ridden frustrations of planetary destruction explode out of a woman’s vagina, and then things get a bit weird.
As the Crow Flies – Day 3. Oct 13th 2021
Crow has no choice but to be crow, until his captor sets him free.
Spiders – Day 4. Oct 14th 2021
Don’t eat spiders.
You Shall Not Pass – Day 5. Oct 15th 2021
Protestors are holding up traffic at Dartford again and the locals are not happy.
Swan Island – Day 6. Oct 16th 2021
In 1810, two men discover each other in their small riverside, town.
Somnus Persona – Day 7. Oct 17th 2021
The masks we choose to wear.
Windows – Day 8. Oct 18th 2021
Watching from her window, a woman creates worlds.
Finding Nina – Day 9. Oct 19th 2021
Nina has been missing for three days. The community gather together to search for her, hoping to find her safe and well.
Tusks – Day 10. Oct 20th 2021
Taking a musical track as inspiration, a story of a woman’s first day on the job.
In Perpetuity – Day 11. Oct 21st 2021
Immortality is lonely.
Skinwalkers – Day 12. Oct 22nd 2021
A strange occurrence at a local school attracts international press coverage.
Emma’s View – Day 13. Oct 23rd 2021
Scriptly Writing brief Day 3 from 2020, from the perspective of Jess’s sister Emma.
Little Doors – Day 14. Oct 24th 2021
Let little doors lie.