1. ewearne
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    ewearne New Member

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    Novel or Screenplay?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ewearne, Jun 15, 2016.

    I have a story I have been planning for a while now, but I am having trouble deciding whether it would be better as a novel or a screenplay? I am studying film at the moment, so part of me thinks screenplay. But I feel like, to get the most out of it I can, a novel would be better? Opinion??
     
  2. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why not both?
     
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  3. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    I agree, why not write with both in mind. The written story gives greater scope for detail, emotion, character building, but a screen adaptation can then be done.
     
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  4. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    I agree with the above posts. Why not try both if you have the time. Just my opinion, but maybe start with the screenplay, this doesn't require as much detail as a novel and when you finish you actually have a great outline for your story.
     
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  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    1/ The wind blew across the Western plains as Cal Highlander drifted slowly towards town. He thought it was a town, anyway. Maybe it was just a couple of old mine buildings, nestling against the low scrub near the base of the hills...

    2/ Establishing shot. Lone horseman, outlined against distant hills. Pan in to show his face...

    Which do you feel your story is going to be closer to? Do you want to explore Cal's mind in detail, his every thought? Or do you want his actions and words to portray what he's thinking?

    To begin with, while you're planning what's going to happen, it doesn't matter. But you may reach a point where you feel the need for a massive gunfight; IMO, it's easier to portray that on film than in writing. Or you may feel the need for Cal to navel-gaze on the meaning of life for a chapter; that's a scene that's going to end on the cutting-room floor!
     
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  6. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I would write the screenplay first and use it as a rough draft for the novel.
     
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  7. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I came across this years ago and have used it as a guide ever since:
    • Novels are about what people think,
    • plays are about what people say, and
    • films are about what people do...
    so it depends on which of those stands out the most in your story.

    Of course, if you write it as a novel, but structure it as a film, when someone buys the film rights, you can talk them into letting you co-write the screenplay. ;)
     
  8. Eric Bickernicks
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    Eric Bickernicks New Member

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    Video professional here. I wrote a screenplay and filmed it as an indie back in 2000. The entire process burned up 3 years of my life just to have it go straight into obscurity. (just showing you my scars) :)

    I assume you're writing screenplays that someone else will pay to film? You'll be writing for a VERY tiny audience. A screenplay won't be "done" until it's been filmed...if ever. Are you writing a screenplay so YOU can shoot it? OK...go nuts. Personally I'm doing all of my stories as novels from this point forward. It's a different skill set, but once you get the hang of story, you're mostly there. What I love about novels is I'm completely free from budget considerations. If I wrote in a screenplay that had "fifty riders on horses come over a ridge", I'd be thinking where am I going to find 50 horses?, which would lead to: "TWO riders on horses come over a ridge". Novels allow my imagination to go nuts, I'll let someone else figure out how to FILM it.

    Once my novel is finished, if someone wants to PAY me to turn it into a screenplay...no problemo. I could bang that sucker out real quick.

    I also take comfort in the thought of merely failing after 6 months of work (on a novel) vs 3 years and $35,000 of my own money down the toilet.
     
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  9. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
     

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