1. Wolfmaster1234
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    Wolfmaster1234 Member

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    Novel writing vs Screen writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Wolfmaster1234, Aug 13, 2016.

    Hi guys.
    At the moment I have two active projects in there infant stages I'm about 5 pages into a screenplay (a post apocalyptic movie) I started and 6,000 words into a novel I've started ( a sci fi novel).
    I started the post apocalyptic screenplay first but my enthusiasm dwindled and I stopped for a while and started this sci fi novel. Now I definitely find screen writing more difficult, part of the reason I stopped but every time I get into a good writing phase I just get tempted to drop the sci-fi project and go back to my screenplay.
    I enjoy writing both but I don't have the spare time to do both and I want to actually finish a project I've started, as to date I haven't. I think its a test I really need to see if i could ever actually realistically pursue either.

    Any advice would be appreciated and please be frank with me. (I know neither are close to being anything substantial in terms of want I've done so far.)
     
  2. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Are you wanting advice on which one to pursue? Doing the one you enjoy more seems like the obvious choice. If your enthusiasm's dropped for the screenplay, focus on the novel.

    You don't necessarily have to pick one, though. I bounce between projects depending on which interests me most at the moment.
     
  3. Caveriver
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    Caveriver Active Member

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    I have heard a lot of writers say they bounce between projects. I prefer to focus on one writing project at a time, but I also do lots of art and craftsy things in my dry spells. I find focusing my creative energy elsewhere, and in more physical ways, allows my mind to work on issues with my WIP, without the pressure of the blinking cursor.

    I agree with izzybot. Nothing wrong with bouncing around. If you are one of those (like myself) who can't write without inspiration, I would recommend being careful which one you pick up when the mood strikes: sometimes even re-reading what I've already written will kill my motivation.
     
  4. sahlmi
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    sahlmi Active Member

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    Now you've got me wondering: I build all my short stories and novels in screenplay format (I don't write screenplays, I just love the format for putting stories and dialog together and "directing" the big picture before it's transformed into prose).

    But since I do that as a norm, I'm wondering if I decided to actually write screenplays, if I would make that "bouncing" easier since I already use both.
    Not so much of a reply, but I wanted to acknowledge you gave me 'food for thought.'
     
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  5. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    You said it yourself that both projects are in the infant stage. If you are going to drop a project, right at the beginning isn't a bad time to do so. You said you have trouble finishing things. Maybe you just haven't found the right story worth finishing. If you are already getting cold feet for a project of five pages or 6,000 words, don't force it. With your next idea you might be so drawn into it that you write twice that in one day. At this point, you don't have much invested in either of your two ideas. I would trust yourself that you will know when you have a project worth sticking with. And you sure won't need our advice or anyone else's on whether you should stick with it when that happens.
     
  6. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Some points to consider based on my own experiences:
    • If you have connections within the film community, it'll be somewhat easier to get your screenplay into the hands of those who might produce it no matter where you live,
    • in Hollywood, everyone and their dog has a screenplay they're working on; some even finish them (at least, it used to be that way),
    • once you hand over your screenplay, be prepared for either a) endless rewrites, or b) getting thrown off the project in favour of someone more experienced,
    • there is no such thing as respect for screenwriters unless you also produce and/or direct as well (like James Cameron),
    • screenwriting is either rags or riches, very little in between (although—and I don't know this from experience—the same might be said of writing prose, too),
    • when you do finally get a screenplay produced, be prepared for the director and actors to take all the credit for its success,
    • and conversely, be prepared to take the blame if it bombs, even when it's obviously not your fault (and 9/10 times, it won't be),
    • getting a screenplay produced at the grassroots level (read: no budget) won't elevate you to any status worth striving for in paying markets,
    • the only way to become a working screenwriter who actually makes money is to go live in L.A. and work your ass off making connections while furiously writing every screenplay idea you come up with so you've got several things to show at meetings.
    But I'm not trying to put you off of screenwriting. You may just be that one-in-ten-thousand who can make it work. You could always enter it into contests and happen upon a set of circumstances that propel you into the game.
     
  7. Wolfmaster1234
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    Wolfmaster1234 Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys.
    For time being at least I've got back to my screenwriting project, I think its a more original and interesting idea.
     
  8. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    Can you recommend a good book on screenplay writing or even an online course if that's how you learned? I've recently started a screenplay of my own, but I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. Anyway, good luck with your decision.
     
  9. Wolfmaster1234
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    Wolfmaster1234 Member

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  10. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    I'd say at their core, they are the same - it comes down to character journey and change and all that. Of course there are style and elaboration differences and all that.
     

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