Author David Wilkinson talks about how learning about screenplays, and writing screenplays helped him become a better novelist by changing the way he views the writing process.
Media Arts Instructor, Dan Wantanabe, talks about adapting a book into a screenplay and discusses details that make for a great novel versus a film.
In screenwriting, the format is carved in stone. There is no room for error if you want your work to be read by serious producers. This article covers some of the best way to ensure that your script is formatted the way that producers demand.
Writer Craig Faustus Buck has written six non-fiction books, including co-authoring the #1 New York Times bestseller for Toxic Parents. He has also written hundreds of articles for magazines and newspapers across the globe and has written and produced in television and film for 30 years, including the Oscar-nominated short film, "Overnight Sensation". In this segment Mr. Buck explains the difference between writing screenplays and novels, including whether outlining is required and the importance of being flexible in your personal style.
The writing styles and formats for books and screenplays are very different. As screenwriter, Brian Dillon, explains, writing for the screen is about structure, action and visuals, while writing for the page is about the language and details. A screenplay is a base document that many people will influence along the way and rely on to execute the project, so it's important for a screenwriter to avoid the story specific details and heavy dialogue. Writing for page gives a writer complete freedom to address every aspect of the human condition, which can be very freeing.
Books and films are two very different mediums, which is why the process of story editing is so important when adapating a book to screen. As screenwriter, Brian Dillon, explains, adapting a book to screen may require drastic changes in the story line when all of the content and details will not translate well to a screenplay. The story editing process typically involves identifying the heart of the story and what matters most to the story line. Eliminating elements or merging characters can sometimes be challenging, but necessary for a successful translation.
Bestselling author and screenwriter Pamela Ribon, describes a key differences in writing for the screen or writing a novel, including the amount of collaboration required early on in the process and the amount of structure required.
Author and screenwriter Neo Edmund discusses the difference between writing a screenplay and writing a novel.
Although screenplays are like novelettes and can be a good starting point for turning a story into a full-length novel, there are several key differences in writing styles between these two formats. As author, John D. Gwinner, explains, when writing a novel, writers have multiple point of view options, but when writing a screenplay they are forced to write in the third person. In addition, a novel will require expanded imagery, characterization and scene settings, while allowing all of the senses to be used.
Cheryl McKay, screenwriter and author of Never the Bride, discusses a relatively new job option for writers... novelization. It's the process of writing a novel based on an existing television or film script. Listen in to hear Cheryl discuss the differences between writing scripts and novels and how Cheryl effectively worked on a team with another writer to develop her first novelization. She also talks about how her first effort was sold and how it led to additional work in the area.
No matter the end format, Noam J. Dromi, Co-President of Legion of Creatives, believes that all writing should start with an outline. Where books, graphic novels and screenplays differ is in the writing execution. Film is a visual medium where exposition is not the main focus. Conversely, telling the background story and providing many of the details is necessary for a book. Graphic novels tend to be a marriage of film and book. They are an evolving medium that allows for intriguing storytelling with a unique, visual dimension that makes them easy pickings for producers to option for film.
Young adult sci-fi author Jennifer Brody has experienced a lot of different facets of writing throughout her career as a producer in Hollywood. While there are some structural similarities in writing novels and screenplays, the two formats differ greatly when it comes to content. When writing a novel, the author must take a much more detailed, in-depth approach and be ready to invest a significant amount of time to the writing. A screenplay, on the other hand, is a high level focus on setting the scenes and writing effective dialogue.
Randall Wallace, the amazingly talented director, writer, and producer of many movies, including Braveheart, recounts how he discovered screenwriting was his true calling, explaining how the immediacy and straightforwardness of the form allowed him to get to the heart of the story itself.