Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

The Scary World of Screenwriting

This has been an overwhelmingly busy couple of weeks with my book being published, and my iTunes app coming out. All the marketing and blah, blah, blah is exciting exhausting and as I said, overwhelming. That old adage, “Careful what you wish”; well, I get it now.

But, it’s time to get back to my work; writing my novel. In my class with Robert J. Ray one of the many, many story aspects we are focusing on is scenes.
At least I hope that’s 

BOO! Scary Screenwriting

what were focusing on, cause that’s what I’ve been doing. Anyway, I’m
focusing on individual scenes and how they flow, how the dialogue reads and so forth. This week I’ve written a couple scenes from my novel as one would write a screen play, (well-sort-of) which is a completely different way to write. The scary world of screenwriting has intimidated me for years.
It thought I’d hate it. But, Bob said I’d like it. Bob wins.

Not only is it a more spirited way of writing, it helps me get a handle on areas in my novel where I have waaayyy tooooo much narration. I have the dreaded ‘too much narration’ disease. Maybe you can relate.

Anyway, take a scene where you may also have this affliction and write it as you would if it was to be acted out by a group of actors (which is what we’re doing in class- FUN!) This technique borrowed from screenwriters, offers the opportunity to really see where you have too much, or too little. You can see if your dialogue rolls along or stops and starts in awkward pauses because of your dreaded ‘too much narration disease’ thingie. My scene was loose and awkward. This technique tightened it up significantly. Clearly, I’m a novice and just beginning to learn anything about scary screenwriting, so look to the experts for the real thing. Play around with it and see what you can learn.
If you aren’t familiar with the structure of a screenplay, take a look at this example of AS GOOD AS IT GETS from the All About Screenwriting Website
Now I’m not suggesting that all we aspiring novelist turn to screenwriting, but I do suggest that the two skill sets enhance one another and borrowing from both will advance our creative endeavors, GREATLY.
So, I have homework to do. Robert J. Ray is an evil taskmaster. I guess that’s what makes him a great educator.
Oh, also check out Screenplay Structure at All About Screenwriting


This entry was posted on April 16, 2011 by in Uncategorized.
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