On Writing : Script -> Novel by Samantha Bryans

Samantha Bryans

Script -> Novel

I'm usually writing scripts, but I've decided to take a try at a novel. I thought it would be a bit challenging to make the switch but I would get used to it. I was wrong. It's WAY harder than I thought. So now I'm writing the script first and then going to try to "translate" it to novel format. Anyone else here make the switch? Was it difficult? What were your methods?

Aray Brown

Screenplays and novels are two different animals. I did it the other way around. I wrote a book and decided to write the script (not my first try though) i used the novella as a blueprint. If you've never written a novel before, it is hard. Have you tried writing an outline?

Matt Crockford

I feel your pain! I started adapting a screenplay of mine into a Novel and it's hard! Much more difficult but i have found it seriously rewarding and fun ☺ i would say, work out if you want a book or script and then just go with that. Agree that a Basic outline is the way to go

Samantha Bryans

I always start with my characters and I did that as I always do. And then I did start an outline, but I don't think in chronological order so I tend to write scenes and then reorder them later and fill in the gaps. It's been an adventure.

Ben Trebilcook

HI Samantha, Hope all is well. It was nice to read the title of your post. I've been screenwriting for nearing twenty years, balancing it with teaching. I've had a few decent successes over the years and decided to enter uncharted territory recently by writing a novel. With the age old cliche, write what you know, it was to be that book I felt I needed to write. My upbringing was around law enforcement and secret intelligence, which predominantly feature in my scripts. I chose to fuse both the worlds of education and espionage together and wrote my book. I paid for a decent editor (which was an incredible eye-opener). All this red type on the page made me feel like I was back at school! It was well-worth it. Most of my friends work in graphic design and so I was fortunate to get a great cover and so many months later, the novel was released and is doing OK. During this process was a marketing plan, too. You know, get it to various press and web folk for reviews and include some freebies, which I did and was well-received. I was also advised to make a trailer for the book. Huh? Yes, book trailers. Doesn't that defeat the object of reading a book? In some ways, but it depends on how it's done and, once again, reaches out to those who may not be big readers or to those who go online to find out what's new in the world of books as said book might not be in a store straight away. I wrote a script for the trailer, which was quite a difficult and frustrating task. I write films, so I had to wear a different hat to write the trailer. It ended up being a short film script, so I passed it to a commercial director pal who trimmed it down to make it more punchy. That will be done soon. More recently, news broke of a spec script I wrote for a potential Die Hard movie. It gained me some great attention and work, too, but also the advice of some decent, well-known industry talents, one of who said: Ben, the story is a great one and you need to protect it some how. - I already have, I replied. Now, that script was based on another novel of mine. Another piece of advice I was given was "If you want to write Die Hard but you're not going to 'get' Die Hard, then write your 'own' damn Die Hard or James Bond or Indiana Jones, using your own made-up names." I did and so the novel is out there. There's a brief interview about it here: http://www.hollywoodintoto.com/man-behind-die-hard-spec-script-trebilcook/ Yes, it takes time and it also a completely different process to the first book, but I recommend it. I am currently novelising one other script. My 'method' Samantha, went something like this: . I copied and pasted the entire script from my Final Draft doc into a new Word document . Changed the font and size to one more 'book-ish'. I chose Garamond 11.5 . I changed the ruler / margin settings, but it's not necessary straight away . A few things, alignment and some dialogue was off here and there, so I had my PDF of the script on hand to check. . As I went along, I deleted the scenes, which I treated as my prompts, reminding me where I was and some were even good markers to end a particular chapter, too. . Describing a character was a good exercise and quite therapeutic, too. Instead of using three lines in a script to describe my leading lady or man, I can go on.... I took a lot of description from my written pitch that I send off to Stage32 pitch sessions, actually. I've read scripts where a lead character was described as 'This butch guy with hair bodied like a stallion'. The freedom you have with a book is a great feeling. . It's a little peculiar, for me, as I've been hired in the past to adapt a novel in to a script, now I'm voluntarily doing the reverse! . A novel's length is 40,000 words up (some may beg to differ and say 70,000). . Pasting my script I did a word count and saw around 30,000. That was an enormous boost. It doesn't necessarily mean one only has ten thousand words to go and bam! you have a novel. Not at all, but it certainly covered that blank, intimidating first page. Hope this is some interest. Thanks for reading. Ben twitter.com/BenTrebilcook My first novel - on Amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Name-Not-Jacob-Ramsay/dp/1512384240/ref=asap_... This is day 8 of the RB Challenge to post some content.

David Taylor

When you put an action screenplay into book form, there are more scene breaks in the screenplay than in the book. You tell the same story but by necessity the drama structure does change. (I'm doing it now).

Sue M. Swank

I have to agree here...adapting a screen play from my novella series was harder than I thought but it was worth it in the end...now I have a few scripts under my belt and actually prefer script writing

Lord Graham C Jones

I construct my books in a very similar way to you guys, only I use what I call 'one liners' to remind me of what I want to happen where. When I have those mapped out, I begin. Then the story dictates how I rearrange these 'one liners', what to add or remove. Thanks Ben for the clarity between a novel or not on word count :-) My first screenplay was taken from my first book. The second was done the other way around. That is my favoured route. About to publish my ninth e\book and paperback and writing my seventh screenplay. Although one is in the present the other in the past, one has visual clues and description, the other has written clues dropped in here and there and description need be just enough for the reader to form their own vision. To be honest I love writing both books and screenplays. It's great to entertain people with something that used to live in my head. :-)

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