Thanksgiving Divider

Consider Writing A Short Personal Script For Family And Friends

As the holidays grow closer, we here at The Story Solution would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving, and a very merry holiday season. We really love this time of year, as it gives us a chance to spend time with those who mean the most to us, and break away from the hustle-and-bustle of day-to-day life.  

But for writers, one of the downsides of the holidays is the sudden rush to get out there and buy gifts for all your closest friends and family. It can be difficult to find the perfect gift for everyone… and it can also be a real budget buster.

Instead of buying gifts this holiday season, consider writing a personalized short script they will truly cherish for a long time to come. If you’ve been working hard on writing a screenplay or you’re lately testing the professional waters as a screenplay writer, the holidays are the perfect time to take a break and catch your breath. Try writing a personalized scene of, oh, maybe four or five pages for your family and friends. You might even film it yourself on your cell phone with a couple friends as actors.  This can become a gift to remember.  

Here are some things to keep in mind if you take a shot at writing a short 4-5 page movie script for your inner circle as a holiday surprise.

Develop Your Idea

Poke around and find a fun idea. What exactly is it that you would like to say to your friends and family in a personalized scene? How do you want to convey a subtext that says “I love you”? Some of the options include:

  • A fictional script about your family’s traditional holiday meal (set at the North Pole? Or on a spaceship traveling to colonized a new planet?);
  • A reenactment or loving send-up of a scene from your favorite holiday movie;
  • Your own personal fictional story, say, like trying to explain love to a space alien and why you care so much about the people closest to you;
  • Put your friends in the middle of an action-adventure epic–in a roaring car chase while speaking the chit-chat dialogue they would at a holiday dinner table;
  • Write a version of your usual holiday gathering as a sweeping melodrama;
  • Or anything else you can think of!


The truth is that a short holiday script scene/movie is your chance to really show off your personal screenplay writing. You can create the strong scene or scenes that will keep people glued to your pages if you just have fun with it. Develop your idea for a first draft, then see where it takes you. And remember that you’re writing for an audience that already loves you!  

Pick Your Characters

Who do you want to be in your scene? Keep in mind that the best screenplay writers focus on their mix of characters and how they will create dramatic conflict for each other.  Use your family and friends as archetypes, but be kind!

Keep It Lighthearted

The holidays are a time for cheer and happiness. Tell/imply/hint to your readers that you love them. This is not the place to criticize ‘em, of course! And you might want to avoid making your scene or scenes something that would fit in a horror movie or slasher film better suited for Halloween. People want to see movies during the holidays that get them excited and happy, so consider writing screenplays that fit this magical season.

Find That Spark

If you are having some trouble coming up with the right idea, then you may want to go after a bit of kick-start help with your movie. Consider thumbing through some of the best screenwriting books on your shelf to find that catalyst spark for an idea. Keep learning, even in a small fun project like this one. You should always be picking up tips that can make you a better writer. The more screenwriting tips you find, the easier any writing task will become.

Thanksgiving Divider

When you’ve nailed your mini-movie, proofread it ‘till it’s perfect, then head down to the copy shop and run off the number you need. Have them spiral bound with appropriate plastic covers. Total cost: a few bucks. Impact on the people you care about: priceless.

happy thanksgiving

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving this year.  Here’s to your success as a screenwriter!

Eric Edson

The Story Solution from Eric Edson is aimed at helping screenwriters enhance their creative abilities. A creative writers block can be damaging to any writer. But with The Story Solution, you’ll be able to avoid writers block and get the most out of your writing. To learn more, follow us on Twitter @storysolution, and like us on Facebook for a chance to win a signed copy of ‘The Story Solution’


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1 Comment

  • To date, this has been the best gift idea I have read so far! What can be more personalized than a film involving the people you love and share your life with? The authenticity of the love and all the fun you all share can be captured into a film, and a phone camera is enough to do this. This would definitely be the best gift anyone could receive. I myself would be ecstatic to receive one 🙂

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