At Wit’s End – A Screenplay

Before I wrote novels, I was busy writing screenplays. I started in 2000 and worked steadily on them until about 2007. I have written around eight completed full-length scripts and one short, most of which will never be shown to anyone because they suck oh so badly.

One of the scripts I spent a long time on was At Wit’s End. It attracted the attention of a local producer and I signed an option for it (this was back in 2001 and nothing ever came of it). The script become a Write Movies contest finalist, and was selected to be performed by Final Draught (let me tell you, there is NOTHING more terrifying than seeing a bunch of actors perform your script in front of an audience – thank God it took place at a bar where I was able to drink myself silly).

The script has lost its sheen in my eyes over the years but I’m still quite fond of it in some ways. I can definitely see how far I’ve grown as a writer. I know screenplays are hella different from novels but the process is still the same. I still plot my books as I would a movie as the outline helps me move along.

I also noticed how influenced by film noir and Alfred Hitchcock I was at the time. The script really does have that subtle, classic movie feel and I’m astonished at how vile a villain I created.

Anyway, I thought I would put the script up here for free in PDF form for you to read.

Here’s the logline: “An emotionally-ravaged actress must face her deepest fears when she believes her new home is haunted by her deceased mother-in-law.”

Here’s the blurb: “After the death of her mother-in-law, Sierra Hayes and her psychologist husband leave their lives in 1950’s New York City behind and move into their newly inherited mansion in the sleepy hamlet of Wit’s End.

But the move isn’t an easy one. Isolated from her friends and Broadway career, Sierra finds herself drawn deeper into the mystery of her new home. Finding her bed covered by hundreds of crucifixes, bathtubs full of blood and townsfolk with something to hide, are all some of the terrors that Sierra can’t explain. Not to mention her dead mother-in-law whom she sees looming in the woods behind the house, a woman who terrified Sierra even in life.

As the weeks go by and Sierra’s grasp on reality begins to fade, it’s up to her to get to the bottom of her increasing madness. But with a husband whose intentions are meant to do more harm than good and a house that has more menace than anything in Amityville, it may cost her more than just her sanity.

“At Wit’s End” is an intelligent, richly imagined work of old-fashioned mystery, with subtle scares and a universal story at heart. The heroine is smart, damaged and must rise above her demons to overcome the most terrifying antagonist of all…her mother-in-law.”

And here’s At Wit’s End. If you find yourself bored and wanting something to read, it’ll be here.