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.