1. Ross.derbyshire
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    Ross.derbyshire New Member

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    Novel vs. Script

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ross.derbyshire, Jun 23, 2011.

    Hello everybody, i hope we are all doing well today.
    I have recently discovered (although not that recently if i am to be completely honest with myself) that when i have an idea i would love to write about i immediately imagine it playing like a film. When re-reading my chapters they play like a film, for example i move from idea to idea like a camera shot would. i like to play with the passage of time etc.

    would i be better writing a script instead of a novel??
    now i know how that sounds and i know that the only real answer is , "Well, what do you want to write?" i know this i really do. But...

    When i write a script i tend to put too much description ( or atleast i have been told that by one of the few people i let read my work ) and try to set the scene etc too much, "this is for the director to decide" is the usual response.

    I've downloaded some scripts form the InterWeb and id say about 50 / 100 go the way of the description but seeing as though these scripts are probably typed up by an obsessed fan of the film in question im a little loathed to base everything on them.

    So, and i swear this rant is finally drawing to a close...Can you describe i na script or must it be the bare bones ??

    Thank you.
     
  2. Mist Walker
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    Mist Walker Member

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    Have you checked out the BBC writersroom? They've got quite a few scripts for single episodes you can have a look at. I'd also recommend A Writer's Tale by Russel T. Davies and Benjamin Cook as it looks at some interesting script writing stuff in amongst all the rest.
     
  3. Ross.derbyshire
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    Ross.derbyshire New Member

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    Hello mist, i have downloaded all of those scripts already thank you. I am working my way through them :) I will try source a copy of the book. Thank you xx
     
  4. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you ever read the novels written by Mathew Reilly? His style of writing makes his novels feel like you are watching a movie.
     
  5. ImaginaryRobot
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    ImaginaryRobot Member

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    Eugene O'Neil was famous/infamous for putting long descriptions into his scripts so that they ended up reading more like novels than plays. But that was Eugene O'Neil. Movie scripts are pretty sparse on description. Maybe a couple of lines briefly sketching a location, but if there is any detail it's limited to mentioning an object or objects that will be used in the scene.

    If you want to look at some good screenplays grab a copy of Five Screenplays by William Goldman. For practical advice you might want to check out something by Robert McKee. Some people hate him, but he's been undeniably successful.
     
  6. Phantom_Brainwash
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    Phantom_Brainwash Member

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    *shrugs* I usually see my stories as movies, but when I try to write scripts it comes out too novely. So: 1) you're not crazy seeing stories as movies 2) Buy The Crucible by Arthur Miller or a few other post-Shakespere play/books. 3) Go with your first instinct for a story, I don't like writing 1st, person but if that's how a story presents itself I work through it. *That's how I work*

    ~Phantom
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i mentor many aspiring screenwriters, so feel free to email me for help or more specific info, tips from the pros, etc....

    as for your questions, first of all, you shouldn't be studying 'transcripts' but only real scripts by actual screenwriters... you'll find many at script-o-rama and imbd... however, most of the real ones will be director's, or shooting scripts and the early drafts will still be by established screenwriters... none will be 'spec scripts' by new and unknown writers such as what you must write, if you hope to find an agent willing to take it on...

    which means no stepping on director's toes with camera/editing directions, too much directing of the actors and their dialog, or fancy wording... 'lean and clean' is the rule for spec scripts by unknown newbies...

    lastly, the fact is that the first sale/option by a new screenwriter is on average the NINTH script s/he's written, while first novels are often published...

    consider all of that careully, before deciding whether to write your story as a novel or a film script...
     
  8. Shahar
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    Shahar Member

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    I have never liked a book that didnt flow like a movie in my mind. It's just my opinion, and it might not answer all of your questions, but for me a good story works itself just like a movie, playing in your imagination. Its the reason I lose my track of time, and that is what makes me stay awake all night in my bad absorbing every page like it was water or air. But maybe it's just me.
     
  9. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I have had this experience before as to rather I should write my idea story into a novel or movie script. I first started out as putting it into a novel. It did not seem to work out. My critiques tell me that there is not enough description in my novel. They implied the story was boring. Therefore, I started turning it into a script to see If I could write it differently. Someone on here also told me I should write my novel in the present tense. The other said it should be in the past tense. I was confused, because another person said that only movie scripts are written in the present tense and novels/books should be written in the past tense. So I started writing a script instead of a novel to ease the confusion. And I sort of enjoyed writing movie scripts instead of novels.

    In reality, I think I have to see your story idea to see what I think about it. I can't really answer your question because we all have different experiences as a writer. And for the most part, you should experiment your ideas without limiting your choice of writing. This includes writing novels, newsletters, and movie scripts. So in my opinion, I'll try both and see how it turns out.
     
  10. Ross.derbyshire
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    Ross.derbyshire New Member

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    Thank you everybody for not only your time and effort but for very thoughtful and genuine answers. i will do my best to source the books that have been mentioned and follow all the kind advice given.

    I really feel that i will be doing this as a script and i hope this is the right choice.
    Reggie, i look forward to taking your advice of the multiple mediums to explore the idea. im sure that will fit my flitting concentration perfectly.

    Mammamaia, i will be taking you up on your offer i hope you are aware of this :)

    Shahar, it definitely isnt just you, i can promise you that .

    Again, thank you all ! Greatly appreciated
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    aware and looking forward to it, ross...
     

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