Novel vs. Screenplay

One day my husband, Peter says to me “Want to write a feature?” Well, sort of, lets back it up a little. Peter directs commercials and corporate documentaries. Long term he is working towards writing and directing narrative features. While I did not go to film school, I’ve been listening and learning from him along the way. He decided he wanted to develop a feature based on us becoming parents and living with my grandparents. Given this opportunity to collaborate with him creatively, I jumped on board. It’s our story after all, seems fitting to write it together. 

This was the beginning. I loved it, and I wanted more.

So, I began to develop my own screenplay. When I came up with the plot for my WIP novel I intended to make it a screenplay. It’s what I’m familiar with and honestly, I’d like to watch it. As I’m describing my ideas to Peter his reply was, “I like it, but you have expensive taste. It would do better to start as a novel where a producer isn’t going to turn it down based on the cost to make it.” My first thought was, how am I supposed to find time for that?  A 90 page feature script seemed plausible, 80,000+ word novel, yeah right (Mind you, I’m a stay at home mom with three kids, five and under). Well, I’m doing it and it’s been easier than I thought. Thanks to my supportive husband, a laptop, and the most wonderful kids in the world who let mommy write. It’s amazing what you can find time for.

I found the basic structure of screenwriting translated easily into novel writing. While both directions of storytelling are great, writing my WIP as a novel is the best way for me to share my story with the world. The cost of publishing is expensive too, but the actual writing only costs my time. This world I’m creating can come to life without the price of film production. I want to get this story into your hands and I’m excited to share it with you in book form. I do plan on adapting it to a screenplay in the future, but one thing at a time.

Next week’s topic will be addressing the question, “When do you find time to write?”

Check out Peter’s website too. He’s a cool dude, but I’m partial.

There are many avenues to take when outlining your story, but The Script Lab’s  8 Sequence structure and 5 plot point breakdown has been a great starting point for me.