Here’s a spec that was all over the tracking boards early this year, and by spring sold to RKO. I’m including it here, because it is notable in that it has been dubbed ‘Hitchcockian’, ‘a modern North by Northwest’… whether it lives up to those monikers is as subjective as entering a screenplay competition but it deserves to be talked about for it got a new writer (from Austin, TX) noticed bigtime. And there is no doubt that it was those 1st few pages that convinced readers of a new writer to keep turning for more, shall we?…
On page 1 first and foremost – we are roped into the genre and tone, we know there’s espionage a foot. This is important because if we didn’t have this small yet exciting scene, we’d start on the protagonist and his love life, important to the story and important to his character development – however – if we opened with this we may thing we’re in a rom-com.
In the next few pages, there are important set-ups beyond the fact that our hero is in love; he can’t afford to land his love after his co-worker tells him business isn’t as good as our hero thought. We also meet the key players (there are more to come but these are crucial) our protag, his supportive love interest, his best friend and the person that will launch him into the 1st act break – his new boss. We also meet his other love, the building he designed and would do anything to see constructed, which in fact takes us to the bottom of page 10. ALL except the espionage first scene are very important to out protagonist’s life and happiness (on an obvious level).
SPOILER ALERT: one of the above is our bad guy.
So a lot is going on in the 1st 10 and our writer’s structure and order of introduction (aka, pace and timing) is perfect and explains why he succeeded in getting it read all across town.
Enjoy… THE ARCHITECT 1ST 10 PAGES