Thursday, September 22, 2016

Get Me Rewrite!

by Alan

Have you ever seen an original film that made you wish you could write a book sequel?

I thought long and hard about this question (it’s a good question!). And then I thought some more. But I honestly couldn’t think of a movie where I’d like to write the book sequel. I suppose I’d only want to write one if the movie was good, and if the movie didn’t really wrap things up satisfactorily (for me, anyhow), then I wouldn’t classify it as good. And then I wouldn’t want to write the sequel. Circular logic? Maybe, but I still couldn’t come up with a good answer to this week’s question.

So I decided to re-write the question:

Have you ever written a novel that you’d like to see made into a movie? And if you had, did you go ahead and write the screenplay?

Yes. And yes.

The Taste_cover for websiteI believe many writers think their novels would make great (not just good, but AWESOMELY GREAT, THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD) movies. (I also think many writers are delusional, but I guess that’s a topic for another blog post.). I’m no exception. Some books seem more suited for the big screen than others, and while I was writing my horror novel, THE TASTE, it was as if the movie was already playing in my head. So naturally, I decided to adapt it into a screenplay. (Note: if there are any movie producers who wish to take a look at this screenplay, please let me know!)

This wasn’t my first attempt to turn one of my books into a movie (or at least a screenplay). I’d had an earlier, golden opportunity to work with a real screenwriter to adapt my first novel, DIAMONDS FOR THE DEAD. (Note: if there are any movie producers who wish to take a look at this screenplay, please let me know!)

If you’ve never done it, it’s quite an interesting process!

It can be difficult to take an 80,000 word novel and condense it into a 110-page screenplay, but after you get the hang of it, it’s pretty cool. You can strip out a lot of the superfluous description and boil everything in the novel down to its essence. Keep the description tight and the dialogue snappy. Above all, make sure the STORY is locked-down and streamlined, because you can’t hide it behind sterling prose or underneath a generous dollop of intriguing backstory (easy to say, hard to do). I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not too difficult (comparatively speaking, of course) to write a screenplay, but it’s VERY hard to write a GOOD screenplay.

Writers, if you haven’t tried writing one, I recommend giving it a shot, for no other reason than it just might give you a new perspective when it comes time to write your next project (be it a novel, a story, or whatever!)

1 comment:

Art Taylor said...

Nice post! I'll keep my fingers crossed that one of these screenplays (or another of your books) makes it to the screen one of these days. :-)