From the web: Why learning screen writing can benefit your novel.

From the writing blog, Bang2Write, is a post by owner, Lucy V Hay, discussing why learning script writing can benefit you when you write your novel.  That hit home as I try to rewrite my novel to align with the screen play I made of it.

Some background. I wrote and self-published my book, Wall of Destruction, a When Atlantis Fell novel, in 2014. In 2015, I thought about trying to turn it into a screen play and try my luck with Hollywood. Yes I know, pretty naive but if you do not try, you do not gain. So I researched how to write a screen play and then started into it. In October of 2015, I submitted my screen play to quite a few Hollywood agents.  Some nice “No thank you” notes but not much else.

In the process of creating the screen play, I learned to look at my novel in new ways. Screen writing is a different monster.  The rule is each page equates to roughly a minute of movie. Also, it is visual. Internalizing a character’s thoughts or providing background in detail, is out of the picture (literally).

I had to shave my novel of 200+ pages to less than 120 pages to get it to a movie length that producers would accept from your average script writer, let alone a newbie.  This forced me to remove large chunks of the story, externalize some internal character conversations and re-think how to provide detail. Literally I had to re-write the story.

Of course, you can not just remove chapters and consider it done. I had to re-write large parts of the story to flow, after the chunks were removed. Reduce conversations to something that people will not get bored watching. It might be cool to have a long conversation, when reading it, but a minute long dialogue on the screen can make people think about some more popcorn.

Another thing I learned was I needed an antagonist. In my book, the war party of the Atlantean government was the enemy. I did not have a prominent antagonist of the party to focus the reader’s attention. Moviegoers like heroes and villains. This forced me to create an antagonist and re-write the story to build the villainy of Jana (my villain). I think it also gave me the unintended benefit of having a final fight between Risor (my hero) and Jana.

I believe I will try to use this process for all my novel length stories. Do a first run as a novel. Get it to where I feel good with the story.  Then re-write it as a screen play. Once I get the screen play where I like it, re-write and publish the book.  A longer process but in a sense it will “kneed” the story in a way I think is best.  And if I get lucky, I get a movie to boot!

So taking the time to learn what a screen play “should have” has helped me better my story. The plan is to re-write the novel to reflect the screen play. My work will be to keep the story tight and not wander too far.  I hope in 2016, I will complete the re-write and publish the new version. I also plan on submitting my screen play to producers and studios as well.

Hope springs eternal!



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Living in Japan, the land of Anime, the Samurai, the ultra modern and extremely old. These contrasting themes fuel my worlds. Both the ancient and new meld together into worlds where super-powered school kids defeat evil; forest spirits help or fight humans; and giant, futuristic robots battle to save civilization. Where else to live for inspiration! A screenwriter and novelist living in the suburbs of Tokyo. A love of history, space and science in general and the beauty of life inspire his tales. He is currently writing an epic adventure trilogy about the downfall of Atlantis.

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