Sam Radford

December 21, 2023

Serendipity (and how I came to be writing a screenplay)

How a serendipitous moment triggered a 2024 goal

I have a favourite app I like to use when I’m writing. It’s called iA Writer. I’m using it to write this now. 

Last week the makers announced the release of a new template. It is called Fountain and it is specifically for people writing screenplays in iA Writer. 

Curiosity led me to download the template, try it out, and see how it worked. I quickly began to familiarise myself with the key aspects of how to write a screenplay from a formatting perspective. 

Before long, I found myself thinking it’d be fun to actually write a screenplay!

I often enjoy giving myself a new challenge. In recent years I’ve (re)taught myself to be able to handwrite properly. And I’ve learned how to draw (still badly, sadly). I’ve also previously taken part in NaNoWriMo, writing a novel in a month. The goal with these challenges is not to become a professional – I see it as a chance to stretch myself and do something different.

So, I’ve decided to make screenwriting something to explore in 2024. 

I’ve already begun delving into reading screenplays. This is opening up a whole new world. I enjoyed reading LOST IN TRANSLATION this week. It’s fascinating to reimagine the film through the original screenplay. I’m planning to read the screenplay for OPPENHEIMER next. 

Quite randomly (or was it?), a tech writer I follow pointed just yesterday to a screenwriting podcast where the latest episode is with the writer and director Christopher Nolan. I can already see myself spending many hours in the back catalogue of other episodes. 

I have also dug out a book I read years and years ago called Story, by Robert McKee. I read it back then solely to delve into the world of story in general, not screenplays specifically. But the book is actually about the principles of screenwriting. I’m enjoying approaching the book again from a whole different angle.

I’ve no idea how far I’ll take this new challenge. But I love the serendipity of how it came about. An app maker releases a new template and all of a sudden I’m inspired to develop a whole new skill. Wonderful.

It’s a good reminder to remain open to these serendipitous moments life presents us with.

Also, it's important to not only develop ourselves professionally, in the context of our careers. Step out into other areas too!


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About Sam Radford

Husband, father, lover of books, writer, tech geek, sports fan, and pragmatic idealist from Sheffield, England.