For the Love of the Script

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, or risk you have taken or an ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

Three A.M. I still smell like the chicken-soaked grease of a shift spent working at Chick-Fil-A, but I’ve hit a plot snag. My character’s stuck in Boston, I’m stuck on page 78, and I need to figure out how to get us both out before I’ll let myself shower and go to bed. If I had been thinking rationally, I might have wondered what I was doing. All I knew at that moment, however, was that I was consumed with a then-70-something-page screenplay that had stretched my imagination and creative ingenuity to the limits for the past few weeks.

Over the past several years, I had often casually mentioned to my family and friends that I might want to write movies someday. Their responses were similar and disempowering: I should spend my summers working at a “real” job and focus my spare time on something more ordinary. I probably wouldn’t be able to get past page five anyway, they said.

Yet plots kept creeping up on me. Ideas, characters, and images consumed my dormant mind, teasing my imagination as I bagged drive-thru orders of breaded chicken. As these ideas slowly evolved into stories, I realized that I didn’t just want to write -- I had to. Thus, a few days into the summer, I began writing. From the time my evening shift ended into...

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