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The Squid Game for Struggling Writers

Our journey to sell our Christmas spec script, A Galatic Christmas

By Steve B HowardPublished about a year ago 3 min read
The Squid Game for Struggling Writers
Photo by Sung Jin Cho on Unsplash

I know what you are probably thinking, “The Squid Game for Struggling Writers”? What the hell is that? Some crappy knock off about lazy writers that play life-threatening versions of Wordle at the local Starbucks?

Well, no it’s not, but if I thought I could write that script and sell it without getting sued, you can bet I’d do it.

Actually, I’m not really even talking about the show The Squid Game. Completely honestly, I only watched the first episode.It was good, but at the time not good enough to keep my squirrel brain from binging The Mandalorian instead after I signed up for Disney Plus.

So, how then is this related to The Squid Game you ask? Because of Hwang Gong-hyuk’s ten year journey to get The Squid Game made. Despite being a smash hit, The Squid Game wasn’t an instant hit by a very long shot. Though Hwang Gong-hyuk wrote the script for the series in 2009 it didn’t get made until 2019. And this was a series written by someone who already had several very successful projects that he had either written, directed, produced or all three in some cases.

My writing partner and I have about 50 years worth of writing experience between us. My writing partner like Hwang Gong-hyuk, also graduated from USC film school, has written, produced, and directed some films. Nothing as huge as The Squid Game of course, otherwise he most likely wouldn’t be my writing partner now. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been writing and publishing poetry, short stories, essays, novellas, and novels since 1997. Though with little success.

Like Hwang Gong-hyuk and The Squid Game, my writing partner have written a script, 2.5 actually, but we have one titled A Galactic Christmas that we are really excited about. Want to hear the log line? If not, sorry here it is.

Aliens invade Earth when a young girl promises Santa will bring them toys for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, an eight-year-old girl, Leah, her dysfunctional family, and a robot must help Santa Claus and his elves deliver toys she promised to alien children in an intergalactic chat room before Earth is invaded and the Spirit of Christmas goes away forever. A wild, out-of-this world, fantastic holiday movie that the entire family can enjoy.

And yes, producers, directors, A-Z list actors and actresses, the janitor at Netflix, or anyone with a thread of connection to Hollywood, this is for YOU!

The point being, it took a very long time for The Squid Game to get made, but Hwang Gong-hyuk didn’t give up on it because he loved the story. As disappointed as we are by this hard truth, we both have realized that the old “Build it (write it) and they will buy it” method of book or film promotion doesn’t really work anymore.

Even if you have something like our screenplay that several producers as well as some very good writers loved, it doesn’t mean much if you can’t sell it to the right person. The trick is getting it read by the right person or people.

As is mentioned in this Youtube video my writing partner recently sent me, you can’t just sit and wait for someone to find you no matter how good your writing is. You have to attack the market and get your stuff out there for people to read, other screenplay writers, actors, directors, and producers.

Our plan?

1. Get the script to as many people we know (mostly people my writing partner knows) in the film industry.

2. Try and make new connections in the film industry and try and get A Galactic Christmas to them.

3. Try and figure out how the heck you get an agent, business manager, or any other type of pro that can help us. Mainly, how you query them.

4. Do our best to try and turn A Galactic Christmas into popular IP. A comic book, a children's book, short videos, anything that will help us get the idea for A Galatic Christmas out there.

5. Write articles and do podcasts like this to tell other writers and creative types about our Squid Game like journey.

6. And the grand high hail Mary, get an A-lister attached to the project somehow so producers and directors will be clambering to get on board.

Hope you all enjoyed reading this. And seriously, if you are someone or know someone that wants to produce, direct, or star in a great Christmas movie contact us.

If you have contacts, ideas or are interested in reading AGC, please contact us. We would love to hear your thoughts and may even use them to illustrate our journey to a sale. Because for certainly we will sell this project eventually.

[email protected]

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About the Creator

Steve B Howard

Steve Howard's self-published collection of short stories Satori in the Slip Stream, Something Gaijin This Way Comes, and others were released in 2018. His poetry collection Diet of a Piss Poor Poet was released in 2019.

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