Putting Feelings to Paper


Hey all,

We survived Hurricane Matthew. We live in Central Florida, so the impact to us was a lot of rain and some wind. Kudos to the power companies for quick-turning the power for the ones who lost it.

With all the stress and feelings, I had to drop a note about how many veteran screenwriters drive the point: “Write what you know, write how you feel.”

I believe internal feelings drive some of the best writing. Whether it be a a blog, screenplay, or that note to the teacher (yes, true feelings of illness on a note can make the difference…especially if Mom writes it…hehehehe).

I recently dusted on a dark script off and started to work through it. I reflected when I wrote it; it was at a time where there was a lot of attention (and still is) on bullying.

As a victim of bullying myself, I was compelled to write how I might react if confronted with my bullies. Not only that, what if my bullies indirectly killed one of my friends, (also a victim) in front of my eyes?

How would I react? How would you react if they left you there alone with him/her?

Would you hold a grudge?  If so, for how long?

After researching my thoughts, I found so much online information on bullying. It was intense trying to corral all those feelings drummed up from my past. But it was rocket fuel for writing.

The one that sealed the storyline for “Justifiable Revenge” (I’m thinking of changing it to “Fear Nothings”), was an article about a guy bullied relentlessly in high school.

His plan was to pull a “Carrie” at his 20th high school reunion. Talk about grudge. This guy must have been pissed. You can read it here.

Revenge movies are popular. Good versus evil. And Audiences want the Protagonist to kick his/her butt. It’s a good writing model.

As I rewrite this “To avenge my best friend, you will die” thriller, I must restrain myself sometimes because some of the scenes that I “feel” are horrific and could never be filmed (however, Martin Scorsese might) .

What’s important to screenwriters, in my humble unrepped opinion, is that “putting feelings to paper” is the catalyst needed to drive yourself to the words “FADE OUT”

If interested in the logline:

Justifiable Revenge – “On the 20th anniversary of a bully victim’s death, surviving victims team up to execute revenge only to discover they’re gonna have to take a number.”

Thanks for reading–


Father Time – New Project

Father Time - Source: WikiCommons

Father Time – Source: WikiCommons

Hello all,

After listening to a ballad from a solo rock guitarist “Father Time”, by Richie Sambora, I was intrigued by the lyrics. The song about the loss of a loved one.

As a father myself, I had to reflect how one deals with this.

So I’m putting together (and I quote my supporting wife) a “Doom and Gloom” story. Regardless of the genre, the overall goal for any screenwriter is to instill “emotional response” from the audience. Good, bad, or both.

With terminal illness prevalent in our society today, I’m sure this hits home for everyone.

As I pondered this project, I noted the title “Father Time” could have at least two distinct meanings:

  1. Father Time – The old man, manager of life and time depicted in so many literary readings of our days, or
  2. Father-Time – Time spent with the male parent in our lives. Father-Time—the precious human memories we get so few of in our limited time upon this planet.

So, I took both of those contexts and mashed them into my writing “Father Time.”

Logline:  “A terminally ill widower begs Father Time to repair his lost relationship with his daughter who blames him for her mother’s death. Unfortunately, he’s talking to the wrong person..”

Stay tuned for a synopsis. I’ll keep my readers updated as the project unfolds.



Collaboration – The meeting of the Minds

Hey all,

Just wanted to drop a blog to let you all know  that I am in deep collaboration with one of my fellow film makers who has caught the screenwriting “bug”.

I’ve been hassling him to spew forth his creative side, so after serious prodding over hot wings (which we truly love and also share for our ritual Friday lunch), he committed himself to providing me his “story”.

So in this Collaboration the roles are similar to what I have read that other successful collaborators do: 1) Share scene development, and 2) each write and provide a catalyst to the story development.

It works really well. He provides me his thoughts, and I, being the screenwriter/formatting GURU/Editor put his thoughts into my screenwriting program.

I then PDF the scene (s) back to him and we discuss it at our next hot wing feast. Then we repeat the above process.

This will eventually get us to the rough draft.

We are not going to analyze, edit, or rearrange scenes at this time. The object here is to get the scenes down first.

One thing we didn’t do at this time is outline the whole story first. We are being creative in letting the “story develop itself”. Some say this is Taboo, some say it creates a more realistic outcome. Only time will tell.

The part that I love the most is after years of missteps with co-writer websites, I have kept it close to home, with someone I trust and enjoy working with.

So we shall see how this new project develops, but so far I am optimistic.

Stay tuned for more.

Keep Writing Screenwriters–Life is short! Eat your Dessert first!




“Poverty Island” Synopsis



Genre – Action/Adventure

Pursuing a 150-year old mystery, treasure hunters confront thieves to honor a heartbroken man while they protect the truth behind the legend of Poverty Island gold.


In 1863, a legend exists where money desperate Confederates manage to get a loan from the French. The French ship, carrying chests of gold, allegedly sinks near Poverty Island, Michigan. To this day the gold has never been found.

In Act I, treasure hunters Buck Spencer and Jeremy Razey (Protagonists), arrive at Washington Island, south of Poverty Island. Their goal—cultivate information from Carl Jackson (Mentor) – the only person who may have last seen the Poverty Island gold. Buck gets help from Carl’s friend, niece Grace (Love interest), and newspaper clippings on the legend and untimely death of Carl’s girlfriend. Carl struggles to deal with the loss, but opens up to Buck and reveals how Jessica died, but not much about the Legend.

Buck and Jeremy dig up empty gold chests and harass other nefarious treasure hunters who want in on the find. In turn, one of the nefarious hunters shoots Carl dead.

In Act II, Grace inherits Carl’s estate and safe deposit box, where she finds more clues, a letter about Jessica’s death, and a gold coin. Grace, Buck, and Jeremy team up. After finding a big clue and map, they suspect the gold is in the lighthouse. In a covert night operation, they search the lighthouse but have to deceive Carl’s friend (Antagonist) who has followed them by boat with another treasure hunter.

After hacking through a wall, they find hidden sacks of gold, hurry to get it off the island, but run out of time. By now, Andy is pissed after Buck sank their dive boat, returns to the lighthouse by dinghy, and takes hostages at gunpoint. Jeremy overpowers the other hunter and sneaks up to put Andy under gunpoint.

Buck leaves Andy with their own dinghy, extra gas, and ultimatum to live or die, but without the gold.

In Act III, the State of Michigan grants Gracie the gold to rebuild the lighthouse—as Carl and Jessica wanted. Buck gives Gracie a parting gift – a letter and ring from Jessica to her fiancée he found in the wall. It professes to Carl how much she truly loved him and looked forward to a long life with him.  Lovely words Carl never heard.

JC Leach — Addicted Screenwriter

Hello All!

I have finally taken the plunge into the Blog world.

So this is how what a blog looks like! *As he ponders about to what to write next*.

For those that don’t understand the text in between asterisks (*) above, they are “personal thoughts” I inject in my writings. Fellow screenwriters should understand. It provides depth in my entries. Consider it a personal touch and feel.

As I write this first blog entry, I can’t help but reflect how my writing addiction started.

I had to go all the way back to the 1970’s. It started in high school. English class homework, snowballed into reading various books (mainly historical documentaries), and of course Sci-Fi movies. It Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” that inspired my first effort: “Mayan Space.”

The outline alone was 300 college rule pages long. All hand written; scene for scene, dialogue–the works. No word processors in the 1970’s. Bill Gate was just inventing software back then.Man, I’m dating myself.

Regardless, I researched Mayan Prophecy, examined the connection between alien life and Mayan intelligence in astrological events. It was fascinating. It drove me to keep writing; to find that answer. A series of life changing events (20 years of military service), kids, and marriage, put an indefinite hold on that.

But the bug ate its way out over my military years. As I matured, I became infatuated in Training. As an instructor or supervisor, I always enjoyed the moment the “clue light” turned on in a young student. It was inspiring to know that I was “making a difference” in someone’s life.

Eventually, I graduated into Instructional Design. Developing the training was an angle that brought forth the “creative” side. Being able to develop analogies allowed me to fine-tune descriptions to ensure the end-user (the reader of screenplays) understood what it was I was trying to convey; whether it be a simple task, to a full blown concept. I truly believe those experiences have unlocked the writing bug that I enjoy today.

Screenwriting is not my full time job. No way. As a budding Screenwriter (*addicted*), my day job is a technical writer. Ina nutshell, I write better versions of those one page manuals you receive with IKEA furniture that provide no simple way to assemble that computer desk you desperately need to house computer equipment and business material to eventually collect dust.

But after work? Enter “JC Leach – Addicted Screenwriter“. (*Insert kick-ass superhero theme here*).

My weapons? Asus Laptop (high speed, low drag), semi-comfortable couch (*My Command Center*) , earphones (cheap, and effective in sometimes tuning out too much and always at the wrong time), various Screenwriting programs, and my addiction–a plethora of ideas ready to spew forth through my fingertips.

So here I am. James “JC” Leach, marketing myself, giving form and function as a dedicated screenwriter who constantly hones (with a military work ethic, I might add) the Screenwriting craft.

With that being said, I’ve been busy since 2008 when a simple Genealogy search turned into my first screenplay effort. With a few rewrites, I felt it was a good first effort. But there is always room for improvement. My addiction demanded it.

So, I read “Screenwriting For Dummies” (*Hey– small steps,baby*). It gave me the foundation and showed me basically what’s involved in the craft. Okay….I needed more.

Then I read my first screenplay–“Shawshank Redemption”. The addiction was feeling great. The flow of creativity through my veins was overwhelming. That was 2008.

Flash Forward – Present Day

Today, I am on my 8th Screenplay. Fully addicted, unable to stop. All full-length features, some public domain book adaptations, and I even brought that high school effort (Mayan Space) out of mothballs (now named Pakal’s Secret).

*You didn’t mention TV Pilots*.

TV pilots and series efforts are on my radar screen, but I am enjoying Feature writing so much now, they can wait. My addiction is wonderful.

But there are setbacks. Last year, I took a step to enter one of my Scripts into the annual

PAGE International Screenwriting Awards

Although, I didn’t make the 2016 quarter finals, it was a great experience.

I also took a stab at Writing/Directing a small (very small) production. I wrote and assisted in the direction (mentored with the help of experienced friends) of a Doritos Superbowl Contest ad. We (my Director mentor Andy Darby, and creative director, Bob Summers, along with a fantastic cast and crew shot this in one day. Even my pet superstar Cat (Charger) made his cinematic debut. It was total fun and a great experience in film-making.

Current Projects

For those that are still reading, I thank you for hanging on.

Below is a consolidated listing of current screenplay projects . They are in various stages, contest ready, or in a marketable state.

Please (*I humbly beg*) comment on which ones you would like to see in a theater, or read the script:

The Lost Desptach – Genre: Action/Drama (1860s) – “Framed for a murder she didn’t commit, a confederate spy races to fulfill her father’s dying wish before life, love, and the law catch up with her.”

Poverty Island – Action/Adventure – “Hunting down a 150-year mystery, treasure hunters confront thieves to honor a man’s last wish, and find the truth behind the gold of the Poverty Island legend. ”

Pakal’s Secret – Action/Sci-Fi adventure – Dogged by dangerous and nefarious cartels, an archaeologist unlocks a complex mystery hidden beneath a Mayan temple. After black suits get involved, he takes matters into his own hands.”

Dead Hand – Historical Action – When a rogue Russian General takes over a secret Doomsday system, the scientist who built it risks allegiance, family, and friends to avert nuclear Armageddon.”

The Variable Man – Sci-Fi (Public Domain Adaptation) – “A 20th century handyman, pulled into the future, slews the odds against a celestial turf war and is forced to repair their secret weapon in return for a ticket home to the past.”

Savage Grant – Historical Drama – “A frontiersman’s family, massacred by Indians and daughter taken, conducts a rescue mission, and befriends the squaw who cared for her.”

Invisible Wounds – (In Work) – Biopic/Drama – “A young child, surrounded by the daily terrors of World War II England, endures a lifetime of post-traumatic stress over the tragic loss of his first love at the hands of the German Luftwaffe.”

Justifiable Revenge – (In Work) – Action/Horror – “On the 20th anniversary of a bully victim’s death, surviving victims team up to execute revenge only to discover they’re gonna have to take a number.”

Confession in Bottle – (In Work) – Drama – “While grieving her daughters loss, an infatuated mother searches Tsunami debris for answers. After finding a 40-year old confession in a bottle, she finds inspiration to get closure for another mother.”

Protecting Providence – (In Work) “After a hurricanes shipwrecks Jonathan Dickinson’s plans, he and his crew must shepherd survive brutal Indians, injuries, cold, and starvation as they trek the Florida coast.”

Well, I think that is enough text for today. It’s Labor Day. Why am I working?

Thought you’d never ask. It’s because I’m addicted. *As he takes another sip of Mt. Dew*

Keep writing!