My Screenplays

Here are all the screenplays I've written, in as close to reverse chronological order as I can figure - I like to layer projects, so it can sometimes be tough to decide which screenplay came "first."

I have some earlier drafts up here, because I like seeing how other writers' stuff changes between drafts, so it only seems fair I share mine. Not all of them, because (A) I don't have all of them anymore, and (B) I don't always define distinct drafts. Like, Smoke & Mirrors goes right from draft 1 to draft 3 not because I lost draft 2, but because I couldn't figure out what specific file to call "draft 2," it was just sort of a process.

Anything that doesn't have a final draft listed is either something I'm still working on, or something I'd like to pretend I'm still working on.

Good Enough for Me

When a supervillain falls in love with her arch-nemesis, rather than continue to fight, they do their best to make the relationship work.

Draft 1 - A romantic superhero action-comedy; it's a big genre soup and I'm trying to play them all relatively straight - though I don't mind bucking some of the more predictable tropes. Breaking tradition, the first draft is an extremely reasonable 92 pages.

Draft 2 - This is a pretty basic draft 2, just cleaning up some unnecessary characters, tuning my transitions and dialogue.

Draft 3 - More polishing of dialogue, and fleshing out a bit of the characters that were fun enough to get to play. I'm not used to having a short enough draft that fleshing things out is a thing I do instead of cutting, it's fun.

Draft 4 - Some heavier changes here, trying to make Vanessa a little more villainous, make her relationship with Chris cost more. I plan to do at least one more polishing draft, so this one may have a few silly mistakes like unintroduced characters or the like after some of the reorganizing.

Distant

When strange occurrences rock the crew of a construction ship near the edge of the galaxy, their captain is forced to wrestle with the possibility that leaving is dangerous to both body and soul.

This one actually won't get posted, but I'm including it in the list because I still wrote it. I decided to tithe every 10th screenplay by basically just writing the screenplay and then deleting it when it's finished.

The Dragonslayers

When a half-dwarf finds herself out of luck and deep in debt, she risks everything on an unthinkable heist - stealing from a stellar dragon's planet full of treasure.

Draft 1 - A fantasy story wearing sci-fi clothes. The setting is basically a super-cliche fantasy world, but set in outer space. It was inspired by, of all things, the computer game Stellaris. I had a lot of fun making fantasy races like elves and orcs in the game, figuring out what their spacefaring society would look like. Eventually, this was the result. It's outrageously long, even for my first drafts.

Draft 2 - Cut it down from 146 (!) pages to 122. So much of the fun in writing this screenplay was the worldbuilding, but a movie just doesn't have time for all that. I still think about a novel adaptation to include more detail.

Final Draft - Cut another 15 pages to finally get this thing down to a reasonable length.

Smoke & Mirrors

When the daughter of a recently-passed sorceress is taken as an apprentice by her mother's greatest rival, she must decide if he is friend or foe before his mysterious plans come to fruition.

Draft 1 - This screenplay started out being co-written with my wife, Cassie, but wound up being more shared story credit than shared writing credit. She's always been a big part of my process, reading my stuff, giving notes, so we tried her having a bigger part of the process, but then she went back to school and just didn't have the time.

Draft 3 - Really just a heavy draft 2, I called it draft 3 because so much changed. I cut it down from 128 to 106 pages.

Final Draft - Basically just a heavy polish from draft 3.

To Live For

After she causes a car accident that kills her twin sister, a teenage girl joins a reluctant suicide club and pushes them to do the deed.

Draft 1 - My proof to myself that I could write more than just fantasy and sci-fi. I know a lot of rookie writers write about suicide, but this one comes out of one really messed-up year in high school where a bunch of kids all committed suicide over the span of a couple months. I didn't know most of them, but there were so many, everybody knew at least one.

Draft 2 - After watching some other suicide movies and shows and seeing how destructive a story about suicide can be if not handled very carefully, I decided I didn't want that sort of responsibility and scrapped the project.

The Destroyer

After years of searching for meaning, an alcoholic waitress develops inexplicable powers that hint at a greater purpose. But the more her powers develop, the more she learns to fear her role in events to come.

Draft 1 - Normally, I like to write from a strong outline, always knowing the end of my story from the beginning. This one, I tried writing it more along the lines of Lost - write cool questions now, and come up with an answer later. I think that approach works better for movies than TV, because I can always go back and change the question if I find a cool enough answer.

Gokhan

A shaman must travel to a distant land to kill his former apprentice before she can establish herself as a cruel goddess over the locals.

Gokhan was originally called "Messiah," and the early drafts reflect that.

Draft 1 - This one was loosely inspired by Star Wars. I started thinking about what it would look like if it was just fantasy, rather than science-fantasy. I'd also been reading a lot about Genghis Khan at the time, which wound up being a large part of it as well.

Draft 2 - This draft cut the timelines down to just two (with the one flashback at the end remaining), and gave Bekter more of August's role in the final act.

Final Draft - This draft, like most of my final drafts, was mostly about cutting as much as I could and polishing what I couldn't.

Shadows

When a sorceress finds herself hounded by a wizard-eating demon, her only hope of respite is to steal magic from the elves.

Draft 1 - I wrote the first draft of this one in a single week while my wife was out of town, just to see if I could do it. I technically could, but it was so bad I didn't consider it to be salvageable.

Draft 2 - My attempt to clean this up, but it didn't go well. I gave up and just cannibalized some of the ideas for other screenplays. I'll forever be a little sad that Deadpool 2's Domino is so exactly my picture of a lucksmith that I won't be able to use the idea too heavily in the future.

War of the Bands

In a world where music can be used as a weapon, a teenage rocker joins a literal battle of the bands in order to eventually fight his absentee father.

Final Draft - Originally written in a single month as a part of Script Frenzy, the now-defunct screenwriting version of NaNoWriMo. As you might guess from a screenplay being written in a single month, it saw a lot of revisions; of the original 140 pages, I probably only kept about 50; it's now a much more reasonable 88 pages.

Treason

When a secret policeman falls in love with the woman he's supposed to be spying on, he's forced to decide between turning her in, or helping her escape.

Final Draft - My second screenplay, but my first screenplay that I couldn't pretend was trying to be bad. It is bad, though. That said, I like the idea enough that I might write it all over again someday.

Kill the Beast

An ex-cop teams up with a group of vampire hunters to find the monster that killed his partner.

Final Draft - This was the first screenplay I ever wrote, and it is terrible. I wrote it after watching a bunch of B movies and thinking, "That can't be hard to do." I was wrong.