Have you ever dug up a novel or short story you wrote a long time ago, a piece of writing you eventually gave up on, and thought—can I do something with this? Maybe rewrite or edit it.
A lot of writers have lingering hopes for their old, abandoned stories. But me? Never. Once I give up on a story, it’s dead and buried. Oh, I’ll keep a copy somewhere, but that’s just for sentimental reasons.
So guess who dug up an old manuscript and now wants to do something with it.
And I mean, I had to dig. It was in my storage unit in the basement and I had to go through several musty boxes until I found those 95 pages titled….
My Favorite Zombie.
See, the title is supposed to be funny because it was a spec script for the late 1980’s TV show Moonlighting. The one that made Bruce Willis a star.
That right, the late 80’s, which tells you how old I am. And how old the script is because I had to type it out on a Selectric II typewriter. Remember typewriters? They’re what I worked with just before I finally got a personal computer. Which had DOS programming because Windows hadn’t been invented yet.
Damn, I’m old.
This script reminds me that I almost got my foot in the proverbial Hollywood door. You see, after writing it I contacted about two million agents in the general Los Angeles area, and at long last one of them said he’d take a look at it. Well, he read it, loved it, told me flat out it was “excellent!” and tried to get in through the door at the production offices of Moonlighting. But no one at the show would look at it, never mind if they publicly stated that they accepted spec scripts. By the end of that show’s run, the producers had in fact never bought ANY spec scripts.
I really was kind of brokenhearted.
Anyway, flash forward many years, and I find myself wanting to write a screenplay much like the screwball comedies of the 1930’s, which I adore. (Yes I know, I’m supposed to be working on my ghost screenplay, and I am. But I get easily distracted.)
So I read through my old script and thought… This isn’t half bad. I’m even getting good ideas on how to change it into a full length screenplay.
Will anything come of my effort? I doubt it. I’ll probably just spend a few weekends seeing how fast I can whip it out before getting distracted yet again. But it’ll also be fun.
And what about you, my darling fellow writers? If you’ve got any rewriting-old-manuscript experiences, I’d love to hear about them.
Take care, and have a great week.