My name is Michael Miles, I'm a law student and soldier in the US Army from East Tennessee, and I started to write screenplays this year. Although, I am a published author of three novels, and so I did have some experience in writing beforehand.
I came up with both my short film screenplay, The Dying Lesson, and my TV Pilot, A Tale of Ages, as they were both based on novels I wrote. The Dying Lesson was based off of my own experiences in life, and I was able to take a traumatic experience and make it positive. For A Tale of Ages, it was the first book I ever wrote, and it's based around my childhood imagination growing up. It tells more of a Tolkien-esq style of High Fantasy, and I truly hope that my pilot reflects that.
The writing process, oh geez, a tough question. For me, it starts with putting pen to paper (literally) and just writing, don't stop for grammatical or spelling errors. Instead worry-less and let the story flow naturally. I prefer not to outline ahead of time, and instead have a loose structure of what I'd like to accomplish and see where the story goes as I write, as opposed to having a hard set determined path. Best advice I can give, let the creative juices flow!
The comments and reactions that I've received with both stories have been so crucial for my development of them. May they be positive, or negative, I like to take the constructive feedback and focus that further into fine-tuning my work, and future narratives. For The Dying Lesson, most reactions have been positive and some shock over it being based on my own life, plus the fact that I spoke to my real ex-girlfriends the story is based around before writing it. The critiques have been insanely helpful as well, and to me those are the most important in finding out how to strengthen your work. For A Tale of Ages, the reactions have been extremely positive as a type of work that could spark an entire universe built around it. Most have been shocked at how in-depth the universe that surrounds it actually is as well, then again, I first wrote the book in the 4th grade and have been rewriting it ever since.
Hopefully even more! I'm working on another low-fantasy project based around my novel, Dominion, but before I hash that out, I am focused on completing the short film for The Dying Lesson and making that a success before I turn back to focus on A Tale of Ages television pilot. I'm currently in the process of forming my own film and television production studio and I'm always looking to grow and continue to move forward.