Writing

The Screenplay Goes On…

Well, I’ve got two scenes under my belt. This is a pretty fun process, and really helps you narrow down what’s important to the story. This is what I should have been doing when I needed a synopsis!

The second scene was much shorter, and now I’m just taking into account the reality of that first scene… there’s a lot of back-story in that. It sets the scene for the entire film. If it’s 20 minutes long, it’s 20 minutes long. That just means I need to be more succinct for the rest of the movie.

So why am I doing this, you ask? A) because most of the readers have also said they could see this story on the big screen, and B) because it gives me another thing to pitch to an entirely different group of people. I believe in the characters and their stories that much.

I think screenwriting may give me a little insight into really tightening up my story-telling, too. Like, is Nate’s decision to not drink really important to the story? Is Eva important to the story? Which scenes do and don’t belong?

For the novel, I do think they’re important, but we get to hear what’s going on in Nate’s head in the book. When an actor plays a role, I think a lot of subtleties can be implied by actions and expressions. And there’s no narrator doing voice-overs. I’m not a huge fan of that. Show, don’t tell… that’s what’s been drilled into my brain.

So, the ending is my biggest worry. For those of you who have read LOST AND FOUND, you know why. It’s pretty abrupt… and leaves you wondering… My friend, John, and I had a lengthy conversation about it the other night. You know, it’s okay when an established series gives you a cliff-hanger because you walk in knowing there will be one. But let’s say the books are never published (I don’t know why they wouldn’t be, but let’s pretend)… 😉 If you never knew these characters, and you only spent two hours getting to know them, would you want to know what happens next?

I only have one experience to really base it on, and that’s the short story, LOVE LOST. After 4,000 words, nearly every person came back to me and asked for more. They had opinions on each character. Did Jack get the girl? Did she stay with Nate? What was Nate’s problem? They only got about 15 minutes in Jack’s head, and yes, they wanted to know more. I know it’s not exactly the same… but it’s a little similar.

And if I told you the movie starts out with the novel version of the short story… well, now what do you think?

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