For the longest time, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the idea of writing an entire novel instead of just a screenplay. My decision was based on the desire to have full control over my artisticexpression. A film is the result of a collaboration of many people. A novel, on the other hand, is a creative work that is crafted entirely by the author.
Writing a screenplay is more about telling a story and writing visual cues to help the director express the nuances and subtleties of your story. For me, writing a screenplay goes a lot faster than writing a novel because the screenplay is essentially a blueprint. It’s not meant to be a well-defined reading experience because it’s going to be translated to the screen.
Writing a novel is a much bigger undertaking. Every single detail must be noted and defined by the writer. Not only that, you have literary expression to deal with. You must develop your voice, your style as a writer. You have to make the decision to write in third person or first person. There are a lot more things to deal with when you’re writing a novel.My writing experience has been in screenplays so far. I’ve finished two of them and was working on a third one. I never sent them out into the world because I knew they weren’t ready yet. But even so, it was good practice. On a good day, I could write about 30 to 35 pages (roughly half an hour’s worth of screen time) in four hours.Today, I finally started work on the novel. Previously, I had kept writing and rewriting the first three pages, trying to find my voice. After doing some thinking and experimenting, I finally got enough confidence to move forward with my work. It took me around two and a half hours to write 1,500 words. In thirty pages of screenplay, I had written 6,400 words. That’s 1,600 words in an hour. Essentially, I work twice as fast on a screenplay than I do on a novel.
I’m sure the work will pick up though. It’s just a matter of getting used to writing in novel format and coming up with literary devices to show what I want the reader to see, as well as getting accustomed to other literary conventions. It sure is an exciting time though.