Feeling a bit nostalgic last week I dusted off my crate of screenplays and hauled it upstairs to my office. For the last five years, I’ve bounced around the idea of adapting one of my screenplays into a novel.
My fascination with screenwriting started when I was in high school. I picked up a Syd Field’s book and wrote my first screenplay on summer break. I am a visual person so writing in script format was much easier for me than writing in the format of a novel. Over the years I completed four screenplays, a dozen treatments, and many more premise lines. I was a finalist in a couple screenplay competitions and have had one of my screenplays reviewed by a successful screenwriter and UCLA instructor.
Somewhere between his review and today, I stopped writing. Maybe I was just so overwhelmed with parenting and work it just fell off the list or priorities. But I’m tired of staring at my crate of big ideas, I want to do something with them.
Here are some things that I need to consider before starting my first draft.
- A typical screenplay has a 9-act structure and a novel typically uses a 3-act structure.
- A screenplay is more of a roadmap for the filmmakers, it lacks the in-depth inner thoughts of character that are required in novels.
- Scenes are action driven extra time will be needed to determine how they can translate into the text form.
Even though it will take some work I’m excited about this challenge, at the very least it will give me something to write about on a daily basis.