Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A post on (gasp) writing...

I don't normally talk much about craft type stuff, as it's just not my thang here on GottaBook, but someone asked me an interesting question the other day that I thought I'd answer publicly (particularly since I found a great video online that will re-inforce my thoughts!). Basically, someone was asking if I found my screenwriting experience helpful in writing a novel... and if so, how?

Well, it is helpful, if for no other reason than I'm used to writing and plotting complex stories. My picture books, actually, often benefit from the fact that they, like movies, are a visual medium. Also, I'm used to working on a deadline, which I suspect will help me later. But I think what's more interesting to me is how screenplays and novels are very different.

A screenplay isn't truly made to be read. Instead, it's the blueprint for a totally different finished product -- a movie. As a result, choices you make can be impacted by everything from budgetary limitations, what's possible/not possible in special effects, and, when you get into production itself, by what actors are available what days. Also, directors and actors bring a ton to the words... and, much like in the book world, a good editor can fix a badly written scene (even though the originally written scene was shot in full).

At their heart, of course, novels and screenplays have the same goal -- telling a great story. But as forms of writing... well... luckily I stumbled upon this commercial made by Canal Plus that I think sums things up rather nicely.

7 comments:

superk said...

Oh how I laughed! Thx Greg, keep writing about writing :)

Nancy said...

I had seen that before, but it was much funnier this time now that I understand about the title!

SilberBook-Blog said...

You get an ICED ESPRESSO fed-exed to your door for that link. Brilliant -

And I agree so much with your post. My screenwriter brain feels so free in novels! I now can make things up that I don't have to surpress because I think "they'll" never agree to a meteor-sized kernel of popcorn eating Manhattan.

Hmmm...And now I have to go write a book about Popcorn Monsters!

Gregory K. said...

Oh, Alan, I'm so sorry. I've already pitched that idea to Disney (though it was changed to a talking dog and a small suburb thus making me change the setpiece involving the invading military force led by Kernel Corn).

But thanks for the espresso!

Disco Mermaids said...

Oh, dude, that was so funny! That seal was so real!
And by the way, you are an excellent screen writer. We will turn to you when we decide to bring our story to the big screen, "When DiscoMermaids Go Bad."
Have a happy Friday!
-Robin

MotherReader said...

Very funny. That's how I find the good movies in all the crap - my friends sift it out for me.

Disco Mermaids said...

Oh, man. That is some funny stuff!! I don't even know what they were selling on that commercial, but I'll go out and buy it.

Very funny, Greg. I needed that laugh. Blog on, dude!

Eve